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Winner of Global Tablet PC Developer Contest

Thu, 2 Dec 2004

Microsoft Announces New Zealand Winner of Global Tablet PC Developer Application Contest

Competition Attracts Broad Participation from International Independent Software Vendors, Signalling Strong Interest in the Tablet PC Software Development Kit

NEW ZEALAND, Auckland - Thursday, December 2, 2004 - Microsoft Corp. today announced that New Zealand-based Ambient Design Ltd., creator of ArtRage, is the $100,000 grand prize winner of the Microsoft(r) Tablet PC Does Your Application Think in Ink? contest, a competition challenging developers to utilise the Windows(r) XP Tablet PC Edition Software Developer Kit (SDK) 1.7 to create new applications or ink-enable existing Windows XP-based applications.

Interest in the contest attracted 260 global submissions from independent software vendors (ISVs) and 12.5 million visitors to the contest web site from March 22 through August 31, 2004.

Winning the grand prize of $100,000 is Ambient Design, a New Zealand-based software development company specialising in the development of easy-to-use, creative applications. Ambient's winning application, ArtRage, is a painting package designed to provide a realistic and fun simulation of using paint on a canvas, along with pens, pencils, crayons and other tools. The first runner-up collecting $15,000 is Agilix Labs Inc., a leading developer of mobilised software solutions, for its development of GoBinder. GoBinder helps faculty and students take notes and organise assignments, research projects, schedules and class work.

"The Tablet PC is an exciting and inspiring platform to design and develop new applications," said Matt Fox-Wilson, a director at Ambient Design. "The unique functionality of the pen-and-ink model, coupled with the easy-to-use SDK, makes it possible for developers to produce a huge range of creative and versatile applications."

"We are very pleased to have the Tablet PC application contest draw such a strong international response from the developer community," said Frank Gocinski, Tablet PC ISV and business development manager at Microsoft. "The developer community has always been at the forefront of cutting-edge technology, and it's exciting to see them embracing the power of the SDK and its ability to ink-enable new or existing Windows XP-based applications for the Tablet PC."

The Tablet PC SDK, a pure superset of Microsoft Windows XP Professional, extends the Microsoft Windows XP technology stack by adding application program interfaces (APIs) that allow developers to design a role for digital ink within their applications. The API is presented as a simple and easy-to-use object model that supports the collection, rendering and recognition of digital ink in Windows XP-based applications.

Judges Hail Innovation of Winning Applications

Applications were submitted for evaluation by independent judges from Ziff Davis Media Inc. and the Enderle Group, who selected the winners based on a number of criteria including usability, innovation and creative use of pen-and-ink functionality. The 12 top winners will share cash prizes totalling $165,000, with first place collecting $100,000.

In alphabetical order, the remaining 10 finalists included the following (order does not reflect judging scores):

* Active Ink Form Designer from Active Ink Software Inc. * eDrawings from SolidWorks Corp. * EMS Field Bridge from Image Trend Inc. * MathJournal from xThink Inc. * OrangeGuava Desktop from OrangeGuava * PDF Annotator from GRAHL software design * Pink from XAND Corp. * SignDoc from SOFTPRO (Software Professional GmbH & Co. KG) * TalkWrite from Revelation Computing Pty Ltd. * VisualClip 1.0 for Windows XP Tablet PC Edition from Graftabl.com

A panel of judges including Enderle Group analyst Rob Enderle, PC Magazine editor in chief and the editorial director of Ziff Davis Media Michael J. Miller, PC Magazine editor Konstantinos Karagiannis, eWeek analyst Jason Brooks, ExtremeTech editor Loyd Case, and editor in chief of Ziff Davis Internet Jim Louderback judged the final round of top 12 contestants.

Initial screening of applicants was performed by Tablet PC Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs), customers who are recognised, credible and accessible with Tablet PC expertise and who carry with them the voice, strength and value of the Microsoft customer.

The judges from the Enderle Group and Ziff Davis Media cited the creativity and breadth of functionality displayed by the contest-winning applications, noting the programs' ability to establish a growing ecosystem of Tablet PC applications.

"We were pleased to see such a great variety of applications," said Michael J. Miller, editor in chief of PC Magazine. "Some were great for specific markets, others aimed at more general users, but they were united by showing wonderful creativity."

An in-depth look at the winning contestants, details about the competition and links to the winning applications can be found at the PC Magazine feature article, "Apps That Think in Ink" http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1734139,00.asp .

About the Tablet PC SDK 1.7

The Tablet PC SDK 1.7 integrates with Microsoft Visual Studio(r) .NET and extends the surface area of APIs by providing access to the Tablet PC-specific functionality for capturing, rendering and recognising digital ink. Developers can easily extend their application's reach through this simple and straightforward set of APIs. Tablet developers primarily use Visual C#(r) and Microsoft Visual Basic(r) .NET, but they can also access the platform features from other imperative programming languages such as Visual C++(r), Microsoft Visual J#(r) and Visual Basic 6.0.

Because the SDK installs and works on Windows XP Professional and Windows Server (TM) 2003, developers are not required to own a Tablet PC to create Tablet PC applications. More information about the Microsoft Tablet PC SDK can be found at the Tablet PC Development Centre at http://msdn.microsoft.com/tabletpc .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device.

ENDS

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