First webcams from Microsoft make seeing, hearing and sharing a breeze
Sydney, Australia – 14 June, 2006 – Microsoft Australia today announced the upcoming availability of a new line of webcams, making it easier than ever for people to reach out to each other. Combining innovation from Windows Live and its Hardware Group, Microsoft is offering customers a new way to see, hear and share their important life experiences.
Consumer research has revealed that people want to stay connected and many would use webcams if they were easier to operate and provided better audio and video quality. To counter those frustrations, Microsoft Hardware and Windows Live™ have joined forces to introduce a line of LifeCams starting with the LifeCam VX-6000 and LifeCam VX-3000.
These next-generation webcams provide groundbreaking video and audio quality that opens the door for richer digital communications experiences. Optimised for use with Windows Live Messenger, the world’s largest instant messaging network , LifeCams meet the growing demand for easier, more meaningful connections.
“These new products are more than just webcams, they are LifeCams, a true-to-life communications experience allowing people to communicate in different places with the people they want to reach, easier than ever before,” said Jeremy Hinton, Hardware Product Marketing Manager for the Entertainment and Devices Division, Microsoft Australia.
“By tapping into a network of more than 180 million people currently using MSN Messenger, in almost every country in the world, this integrated approach will give people the power to have a richer digital communications experience.”
Optimised for Windows Live Messenger
The first two available webcams, the Microsoft LifeCam VX-6000 and Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000, bring a new dimension to Windows Live Messenger and feature exclusive industry firsts that streamline the webcam experience. These include:
- Windows Live Call Button - Located on the top of each LifeCam, the Windows Live Call Button makes placing a video call a breeze by eliminating the usual multiple steps. Just one touch brings up the Buddy Picker, a tool that shows users only their current online buddies. They simply select their contact's name and they are on their way to making a video call.
- LifeCam Dashboard - Built right into the Windows Live Messenger window for easy access during video calling, the LifeCam Dashboard provides simple access to the controls people need most, including pan, tilt and zoom. Now users' attention stays where it should be — on their video conversation.
- One-touch blogging - Windows Live Spaces is one of the fastest-growing blog communities in the world with more than 50 million individual Spaces. Now, users can post High Definition LifeCam pictures directly to their Windows Live Space blog with one click from within the LifeCam window.
"As we develop Windows Live we're looking for innovative solutions that bring relationships to life. Our internal business partnership with Microsoft's Hardware team is helping us to deliver on our promise of bringing people closer to the people, content and communications that matters most to them," said Kate Beddoe, Head of Windows Live at ninemsn.
Easy to See, Hear and Share
The new Microsoft LifeCam VX-6000 is a top-of-the-line wired webcam providing the highest quality still photography on the market (5.0 mega pixels interpolated), High Definition video (1.3 mega pixels) and 3x digital zoom. A 71-degree wide-angle lens allows enough room for up to three people to join in the conversation. The Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000 offers High Definition still photography (1.3 mega pixels interpolated) and brilliant video (640x480 pixels).
Both LifeCams feature a built-in acoustic noise cancelling microphone to ensure crystal clear audio performance without adding clutter from extra headsets or external microphones. In addition, both new LifeCams come with fun video effects, such as falling snowflakes and twinkling stars, to personalise and enhance the background of video conversations. A Universal Attachment Base is also included for easy and secure attachment to virtually any size monitor.
Continuing its commitment to enhance digital communications experiences, Microsoft will introduce additional LifeCam products designed to meet the growing needs of people on the go and the expanding digital communications landscape.
Pricing and Availability
The new Microsoft LifeCams will be available in August 2006 for the following estimated retail prices:
Microsoft LifeCam VX-6000: $149.95
Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000: $99.95
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and business realise their full potential.
About Microsoft Hardware
For twenty years the Microsoft Hardware group has employed innovative engineering, cutting-edge industrial design and extensive usability testing to create products of exceptional quality and durability that enhance the software experience and strengthen the connection between consumers and their PC.
About MSN and Windows Live
MSN attracts more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering compelling programmed content experiences to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. Windows Live, a new set of personal Internet services and software, is designed to bring together in one place all the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with enhanced safety and security features across their PC, devices and the Web. MSN and Windows Live will be offered alongside each other as complementary services.
For further information:
Ph: 02 8281 3802 or 0405 082 603
12006, Microsoft internal research
2comScore Networks, April 10, 2006
3Less resolution is available when sending video via instant messaging.