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Kodak's logo. Click here to visit the Kodak website! Kodak EasyShare software now free (UPDATED)
(Tuesday, December 3, 2002 - 00:30 EST)

Eastman Kodak Co. is now distributing its EasyShare digital imaging software free of charge through its web site, we notice from a press release.

If you're not familiar with the EasyShare software, it is definitely worth checking out. We've been fans of it for some time; it is about as straightforward and newbie-friendly as you could imagine, but fairly powerful at the same time. Images can be easily categorised, there are basic retouching features like red-eye removal and cropping, and the program excels at printing. Profiles are built in for more than 80% of the printers on the market to ensure optimum results - at least when printing on Kodak paper - and help newbies get good prints from their photos.

The fact that the EasyShare software now works with cameras of any brand, and is available free to download is definitely great news - albeit perhaps a bit surprising. We'd seen the EasyShare software as a good way for Kodak to differentiate its products from the competition in terms of ease of use. Presumably the company is giving priority to its consumables business in this instance - anybody using the software for printing their images will find an advantage to using Kodak paper for their prints.

As mentioned previously, the EasyShare software can now be downloaded free of charge, with no usage restrictions. It is compatible with Microsoft Windows 98, Me, 2000 or XP and Mac OS X 10.1.2. A CD can be ordered for $4.95 plus shipping and handling, if you're on a slow dialup connection.

UPDATED 2002-12-03 15:27ET: IR reader John Urian wrote in with a couple of comments on this item. Specifically, he noted that to download the software, you are required to give your contact details to Kodak, and that you cannot download the program and install it offline. We double-checked, and John is correct - whilst MacOS users can download the full installation for their operating systems, PC users must run an online installer.

This second point is definitely likely to put some people off installing the EasyShare software; if you want to install it on multiple machines you'll have to spend the time downloading the software multiple times, and if you reformat your hard disk then you'll need to download the software yet again. Online installers are a pet peeve of many PC users (Mike included) - they provide little benefit to the user, and potentially significant inconvenience. We'd really like to see Kodak offer the complete installer as a PC download, in the same manner as Macintosh users can download a compressed archive of the installer.

Thanks for the comments, John!

Original Source Press Release:

Free Kodak EasyShare Software Enhanced to Make Finding, Sharing and Printing Favorite Holiday Memories a Snap

ROCHESTER, NY, November 25 -- Eastman Kodak Company today announced the introduction of its enhanced Kodak EasyShare software just in time for one of the busiest picture-taking times of the year -- the holiday season. Not simply an editing tool, the Kodak EasyShare software lets consumers easily print Kodak-quality pictures at home or online with the touch of a button, organize pictures and e-mail, regardless of the level of digital photography experience they have. Both the free download and the CD-ROM version, offered for a nominal fee of $4.95 plus shipping and handling, are available by visiting www.kodak.com/go/easyshare.

Consumer research indicates that easy uploading and the ability to print high-quality photos are the two most important purchase considerations for potential digital camera buyers. Last year, Kodak EasyShare solved the easy uploading challenge with the EasyShare docking station. Today, Kodak is focusing on the challenge of printing and photo management for the growing number of digital camera users.

"Digital imaging is becoming mainstream yet consumer frustrations are common," said Nancy Carr, vice president of software and services for Kodak's Digital & Applied Imaging Division. "Consumers want to find their digital images quickly, they want to share their images easily and they want to get high-quality prints, especially during the holiday season. Kodak EasyShare software is designed to easily lead users through the digital photography experience with the one-touch simplicity they have come to expect from Kodak."

According to Lyra Research, 25 billion digital pictures will be saved worldwide in 2002; that figure is expected to grow to 73 billion by 2006. "Imagine how challenging it is becoming to put together a memory book with your favorite photos," said Ed Lee, Director, Lyra Digital Photography Advisory Service. "Software solutions are the key to finding your favorite digital pictures for printing and sharing as your collection grows. If you do not have a way of finding a picture, then that picture no longer has value."

New Kodak EasyShare Software Features
The Kodak EasyShare software's One Touch to Better Pictures feature can turn any home printer into a Kodak-quality printer, delivering rich, vibrant colors and outstanding print quality. Designed for use with Kodak Ultima or Premium Inkjet Paper, One Touch to Better Pictures technology color matches the image and changes the printer driver settings to ensure the best photo print all at the touch of one button.

It's also easy for consumers using the Kodak EasyShare software to get professionally processed prints made from their favorite digital shots. They can select the "Order Prints Online" tab and instantly upload their pictures over the Internet to the EasyShare Print Center or their favorite online photo retailer. Consumers can then collect the finished prints (from 4" x 6" to 20"x30" poster size, depending on service) from their local store or have them sent directly to their home.

In addition, the software gives consumers the ability to retrieve lost and forgotten photos and JPEG files trapped on their hard drive. Once the EasyShare software is loaded, it scans folders, locates files and enables users to easily pull all their digital images into "My Collection."

Eastman Kodak Company and Infoimaging
Kodak is the leader in helping people take, share, enhance, preserve, print and enjoy pictures for memories, for information, for entertainment. The company is a major participant in "infoimaging" a $385 billion industry composed of devices (digital cameras and PDAs), infrastructure (online networks and delivery systems for images) and services & media (software, film and paper enabling people to access, analyze and print images). Kodak harnesses its technology, market reach and a host of industry partnerships to provide innovative products and services for customers who need the information-rich content that images contain. The company, with sales last year of $13.2 billion, is organized into four major businesses: Photography, providing consumers, professionals and cinematographers with digital and traditional products and services; Commercial Imaging, offering image capture, output and storage products and services to businesses and government; Components, delivering flat-panel displays, optics and sensors to original equipment manufacturers; and Health, supplying the healthcare industry with traditional and digital image capture and output products and services.

Kodak and EasyShare are trademarks of Eastman Kodak Company.

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