Avid Dropping Xpress, Slashes Price of Media Composer, more

Reprinted from an Avid press release:

Avid Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: AVID) today announced that its Video division has unveiled New Thinking a customer-focused campaign designed to improve the way the company connects with all of its users and prospects. Shaped by extensive customer feedback, New Thinking underscores the companys more than 20-year commitment of empowering film and video professionals with tools that enable them to work more efficiently, productively and creatively. The new campaign revolves around four main objectives: increasing the value of Avids products, workflows, and services; advancing technical and customer support programs; investing in the community of media professionals; and fostering an open, two-way dialogue with customers. With a wide range of initiatives planned to roll out throughout the year, the company has today announced the following:

* The consolidation of software editing applications merging Avid Xpress Pro software into the Media Composer product line, with new lower pricing to increase the accessibility of Media Composer to a wider range of users. The company will offer existing Avid Xpress Pro customers a pathway to upgrade to Media Composer software;
* New student pricing for Media Composer software enabling any student at an accredited college or university with a valid student I.D. to purchase Media Composer software for $295 USMSRP;
* A new online community introducing new ways for industry professionals to access and share tips and tricks, demonstrations, tutorials and media content; as well as opportunities to connect with both Avid and industry peers; and,
* Enhanced online customer support delivering Avid support customers easier access to more accurate and personalized answers to important product and service queries, 24/7, without having to call Customer Support.

The launch of New Thinking represents the first in a series of important steps were taking to change the way we serve our customers, said Kirk Arnold, executive vice president and general manager of Avid Video. Building on our rich history of innovation and leadership in the digital media production industry, we are shifting every aspect of our business to focus more explicitly on the needs of our customer community so that we can deliver new programs that offer greater relevance, appeal and value. Today is just the start of a longer-term effort to re-connect with customers and restore their confidence in our commitment to deliver what we promise.

Simplified Product Line, Greater Value
Based on feedback from customers to simplify the product line and make Avids industry-standard tools more accessible to a broader audience, the company has merged its Avid Xpress Pro software into its flagship Media Composer software product line and established a new price point of $2,495 USMSRP for Media Composer software. Customers who purchased Media Composer software at the prior $4,995 USMSRP price after January 1, 2008 are eligible to receive a credit towards future purchases.

Existing Avid Xpress Pro customers can upgrade to Media Composer software for $495 USMSRP. Avid will continue selling Avid Xpress Pro software through the end of Q2 2008, and offer support for the product through March 17, 2013. However, effective today, Avid will no longer sell support contracts or offer any further software upgrades for Avid Xpress Pro.

Additionally, students interested in owning Media Composer software can now purchase Media Composer Academic software for just $295 USMSRP, via their college bookstore or a local Avid academic reseller. To be eligible, students must attend a fully accredited academic institution and have a valid student ID.

A More Dynamic Community By Customers, For Customers
As part of Avids commitment to the digital media production community, the company has launched a new online environment where customers can connect with peers, share ideas, contribute content and receive recognition for their contributions. The first phase of the launch includes a new interface, industry and Avid-authored blogs and customer-submitted tips, tricks and tutorials.

Over the next few months, the Avid Community will expand further to offer:

* A video exchange where customers can upload, share, rate, and comment on the work of their peers;
* Community portfolios which allow customers to create personalized pages to share bios, resumes, and samples of their work;
* A blog network that presents the latest thinking on industry topics in one place;
* Social networking features that allow customers to interact and communicate more directly with one another from right within the Avid Community interface; and
* A job marketplace to help connect industry employers with talented customers who are looking for employment.

Advancing the Online Customer Support Experience
In an effort to begin enhancing its customer support programs, Avid has made a significant investment to improve the companys important online support experience (announced today in a separate release.) Through a completely redesigned user-interface, customers can quickly get answers to technical questions on Avid.com. During the improvement process, Avid technical experts reviewed and updated more than 10,000 pieces of content with the goal of making it easier for customers to search for information and effectively resolve technical issues.

Fostering an Open, Two Way Dialogue with Customers
In addition to collecting information through ongoing customer meetings and surveys, Avid is establishing a number of initiatives designed to enable the company to regularly receive input from customers. During the NAB convention, scheduled for April 14 17, 2008, in Las Vegas, Avid has planned a number of customer meetings and appreciation events and will conduct a series of focus groups with users throughout the week.

To receive e-mail alerts about the latest New Thinking programs that Avid expects to roll out this year, visit: http://www.avid.com/newthinking.

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