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Van Gogh's on the Go!

Van Gogh's on the Go!

Unleashed worldwide, Ambient Design's ArtRage reaches

more than 65,000 downloads since launch

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - 09 July 2004 - In just over two months, Ambient Design, a New Zealand-based software development company, has had more than 65,000 downloads of its new ArtRage application, a free painting package designed to provide a realistic simulation of using paint on a canvas. ArtRage painters can use electronic pens, oils, pencils, crayons, and other tools for original works or they can load photographs and use the trace functionality to create their masterpieces.

Matthew Fox-Wilson of Ambient Design says the idea and technology for ArtRage has been in development for more than six years but it was the release of the Tablet PC that provided the ideal platform and catalyst to finish the application.

"We contacted Microsoft as soon as the Tablet PC came out," said Fox-Wilson. "It matched what we wanted to do and answered the 'if only we had a device that could do this and that' dilemma. The application certainly works on other PCs and devices but the Tablet PC is the perfect marriage for the application."

Jay Templeton, Microsoft New Zealand's Product Marketing Manager, Windows Client Division worked closely with Ambient Design during the product's development.

"The Ambient Design team is truly talented and it has been great to see ArtRage develop into such a fantastic addition to the Tablet PC. An added bonus is that it is a New Zealand team taking it to the world," says Templeton.

Ambient Design has also been listed by Microsoft on the global Tablet PC download site alongside top software vendors such as Corel and FranklinCovey.

ArtRage Inspires Return to Art

Wanganui-based 34-your old, Danny Mallinder was exploring ways to return to his creative past when he heard about ArtRage. He bought a Tablet PC, enquired about the beta programme, and started to experiment.

Mallinder found ArtRage inspired him to bring alive one side of his creative ability, as part of his life transition which was to move from a non-productive creative to a highly productive creative, to living an inspiring creative life.

"ArtRage was a fantastic way for me to try out how I wanted to express my creativity. It is perfect for abstract art and illustration - which I enjoy doing. Being able to experiment with art forms using this mobile technology makes it very flexible and exciting," Mallinder said.

Mallinder is currently exhibiting ArtRage created digital paintings at Protocol Café and Gallery in Wanganui this month.

Ambient Empowered

Ambient Design, based in Bethells Beach, New Zealand (just north of Auckland), contacted Microsoft New Zealand in 2002 and later enrolled in the Empower Program. The Microsoft Empower program, launched globally last year, provides software developers with a complete set of development tools (e.g. a one-year subscription to the Microsoft Development Network and software valued at more than $40,000). Members also receive a monthly newsletter update, online resources and global support from Microsoft. The program is designed to prepare smaller organisations and companies to become Microsoft Certified Partners.

Gareth Baker, Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Partner Account Manager at Microsoft New Zealand, said Ambient is an excellent example of the Empower Program helping a talented group of developers succeed on a much larger global stage.

"Ambient is one of 130 New Zealand Empower Program participants and they embody the significant potential the program has to help bring cutting edge applications to the mainstream," said Baker. "There are many talented developers in New Zealand with new application ideas that can, if given the right tools and resources, succeed in New Zealand and beyond. Empower is about making sure the opportunity is there for them to do so."

In addition to the Microsoft Empower program, Ambient Design was also involved in a close partnership with Microsoft New Zealand who helped with beta testing of ArtRage

Ambient Design Going Global

Not only has Ambient achieved more than 65,000 downloads of ArtRage from its own web site, the application is also available from two other Web sites mirroring the Ambient site, increasing its reach in international communities.

In addition, Fox-Wilson says organisations in Europe in particular have taken up the ArtRage cause, which was developed as a portfolio piece for Ambient.

"Two German IT magazines, Computerbuild and Sharepress Magazine, are including ArtRage on CDs to be distributed with the magazines," said Fox-Wilson. "In addition, a company in the UK, Research Machines, is including ArtRage pre-loaded on all the TabletPCs they now sell.

ArtRage is also going to appear on the cover disc of Digit magazine in the US.

"ArtRage was always developed with the intention to be offered as a free program," adds Fox-Wilson. "We wanted it to be an example of our capabilities and to get our name 'out there.' It's certainly on track to do that and more!"

About Ambient Design

Ambient Design is a New Zealand based software development company specialising in contract work for remote clients. The company was founded on a strong graphical basis after the founders left MetaCreations in January 2000, but has grown since then to encompass Internet development, cross platform development, and a wide range of technologies.

Ambient was founded with the intention of creating a strong engineering company that would provide an output for some of the talent available in New Zealand. Over the last two years Ambient Design has worked for a wide range of international companies providing complete engineering services from design to implementation.

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