By >Akihabara News Team
Microsoft Launches Two New Webcams
Yesterday Microsoft released two new webcams, the LifeCam VX-5000, and LifeCamVX-500. These two devices are particularly adapted to Live Messenger, and feature a 1.3Mpix VGA sensor in 640×480, a 3x digital zoom, and Windows LiveCall Button.
REDMOND, Wash. May 13, 2008 Today, Microsoft Corp. reshapes the webcam experience with the LifeCam VX-5000, a webcam with a unique bendable attachment base that molds to virtually any surface — from a notebook to a desktop — so users can take it anywhere.
For personalized flair, the LifeCam VX-5000 features a brightly colored ring around the front of the webcam in the colors Cool Blue, Lucky Green and Fire Red, allowing consumers to choose their favorite to suit their style. To complement the fresh, new look, the LifeCam VX-5000 features MSN Photo Swap, a special feature that lets consumers share digital photos in midvideo conversation and see real-time reactions as both callers view the pictures. The new webcam arrives just in time to help share summer vacation memories and keep consumers connected throughout the year.
“With the LifeCam VX-5000 we are changing the perception of webcams from boring and bulky to fun and flexible,” said Michael Cowan, product marketing manager for the Hardware Division at Microsoft. “We designed this LifeCam to match the experience its technology delivers — it’s all about fun and letting consumers share their personalities.”
Microsoft is also offering the LifeCam VX-500 and the LifeChat LX-2000 — two affordable products, each with a unique, compact design. The LifeCam VX-500 is a versatile webcam designed to fit on notebooks and desktop PCs. The LifeChat LX-2000 is a full-size headset that folds down into a small, portable shape. Both are perfect products for consumers on the go.
Photo Swap: A Feature You’ll Flip Over
Digital camera owners have on average more than 1,200 photos stored on their computer, and Photo Swap helps bring the pictures to life as a virtual photo album. Using Windows Live Messenger, consumers easily can share pictures from summer vacations or holiday gatherings. The best part is with Photo Swap they can see and hear the reaction of their friends and family — whether across town or across the country — and feel like they are sitting right next to each other.
See, Hear, Share — Easy as 1, 2, 3
The VX-5000 comes with Windows Live optimizations and the latest version of LifeCam software, making it easier than ever for users to experience a great video call. Key features and benefits include the following:
Windows LiveCall Button, located on top of the LifeCam, allows users to open their Contact Picker (a tool showing which contacts are currently online) with one touch, so they can quickly initiate video calls to friends and family.1
LifeCam Dashboard incorporates full LifeCam navigational controls (pan, tilt, zoom, face tracking and Video Effects) within the Windows Live Messenger interface, enabling a seamless and easy navigating experience.1
World-class VGA optics with a VGA sensor, 640×480 video resolution and 1.3-megapixel still photography (interpolated) offer high picture quality.
Built-in unidirectional microphone with acoustic noise cancellation delivers crystal-clear audio.
Pan, tilt and 3X digital zoom features allow users to adjust the image to see more clearly.
LifeCam VX-500 and LifeChat LX-2000
Microsoft continues to bring friends and family together with the additional announcement of two affordable products made to enhance the computing experience: the LifeCam VX-500 and LifeChat LX-2000. With true VGA video, the LifeCam VX-500 enhances the webcam experience with brilliant video quality, and its compact design allows for easy mobility — working seamlessly with both notebooks and desktop PCs.
The LifeChat LX-2000 delivers supreme comfort as a portable, full-size headset that is perfect for music, gaming, online chatting and more. The unique collapsible design allows the headset to fold into a compact shape for easy portability — just throw it into the carrying case and go. Both the LifeCam VX-500 and the LifeChat LX-2000 can be easily used with major instant messaging programs, and the setup is quicker than ever, with no software needed.
Pricing and Availability
The LifeCam VX-5000 will be widely available in June 2008 for an estimated retail price of $49.95 (U.S.).3 The LifeCam VX-500 and LifeChat LX-2000 will be available in May 2008 for the following estimated retail prices:3
Microsoft LifeCam VX-500, $16.95 (U.S.)
Microsoft LifeChat LX-2000, $29.95 (U.S.)
The LifeCam VX-5000 and LifeChat LX-2000 are available for pre-sale on Amazon.com, and all three products will be backed worldwide by a three-year limited hardware warranty from Microsoft.
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 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 are offered alongside each other as complementary services. Some Windows Live services entered an early beta phase on Nov. 1, 2005; these and future beta updates can be found at http://ideas.live.com. Windows Live is available at http://www.live.com. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com. MSN worldwide sites are located at http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx.
About Microsoft Hardware
For 25 years, the 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. Microsoft Hardware leads the industry in ergonomic engineering, industrial design and hardware/software compatibility, offering consumers an easier, more convenient and more enjoyable computing experience. Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer, which launched in 1999, earned a place on PCWorld.com’s December 2005 list of “The 50 Greatest Gadgets of the Past 50 Years” as the first mainstream optical mouse that “brought gunk-free pointing devices” to a broad consumer base. More information about the Hardware Group is available at http://www.microsoft.com/hardware.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.mspx.
1 These features are available only through Windows Live Messenger.
2 Parks Associates, Digital Cameras and Imaging: Analysis and Forecasts 1Q 2006.
3 Actual retail prices may vary.