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It's a pleasure to announce the return of a great tool for working with PowerPoint files, Microsoft Producer.
Originally created by the Microsoft Windows Media team, and available as a free download, Microsoft Producer allows you to take an existing presentation file, capture and synchronize video and audio narration, add additional media content, and produce a unified set of content ready for viewing in a browser on your corporate intranet or a generally accessible web server.
A powerful tool for e-learning, corporate communications, sales... many corporations and schools have been using Producer on a regular basis for many years.
The previous version of Producer had a few bugs, some adjustments that needed to be made for it to work with the new Office 2007 version of PowerPoint, as well as a couple of changes to fix incompatibilities with current browsers. But we're happy to say that today, right now, you can download the public beta of Microsoft Producer for Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007! (Yes, that's a real mouthful, but the lawyers like it when we use the full name in print.)
For those not already familiar with the previous versions, you can use Producer 2007 to capture video, audio, and still images from a Web camera, a video camera (digital or analog), or from your computer screen. You can then use the captured content in your Producer presentations. You can also use Producer to import existing Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, Windows Media files, still images, and HTML files, and then synchronize narrations with your video and PowerPoint presentations. You can then publish the presentation to an e-service provider, to a corporate intranet site, on a corporate network, or to the Web.
This new version of Producer supports PowerPoint 2007 and earlier versions of PowerPoint. This is a compatibility upgrade and there aren't any new features. NOTE: Yes, this section has been updated from the original post. There was some initial confusion about support for earlier versions of PowerPoint.
So now you're wondering how you can join in with this beta and get yourself some of the new Producer goodness?
Well, here you go.
How to access the Producer for PowerPoint 2007 beta:
The Connect site will be used for managing all instructions, downloads, and bug reporting for Producer. While we're planning additional blog postings about the product, we do direct you to that site for all general communications about the product. There's a lot of information there now, including a list of frequently asked questions.
One final note to all the folks who have written or asked after the fate of Producer over the last few months. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding. We have a standard policy with respect to pre-announcing products, for the most part we won't discuss products under development, and it's terribly hard to keep quiet when have a fix is in the works.
Please remember that even though we don't make a lot of comments about future releases, we're always listening. And working.
Ric Bretschneider June 5, 2008
I cannot locate a download for this. On the connect site, when I put it on my dashboard, there is no apply now. If I click on the link on the right side, it just goes to the home page for Office and there is no beta download anywhere that I can locate. Thanks
After you log in to your connect dashboard, you should see the Producer for PowerPoint 2007 Beta entry. Clicking that you’ll see the Producer banner, and welcome text, followed by announcements, and links. To the left of the Producer banner, there is a downloads link. Clicking that should give you an entry (bottom of the page above the footer) that will download the Producer installer. If that isn’t working for you please look under the Downloads link for a Feedback link, which you can use to provide additional feedback and ask questions about the product. Thanks
What about those users who use PowerPoint 2003 and certainly want to use IE7? At least make it work with PowerPoint 2003 then.
Hello Someone, Yes, aware of this situation. Wish I could tell you something comforting. If I have good news I promise I'll post something here. I do encourage you to also use the Connect site for entering this type of feedback. That's where they're tracking the beta, and your comment is pertinent. Thanks
Good news. This of Producer version does support earlier versions of PowerPoint. See the updates to this blog, and watch for a short posting I'll be posting... er... shortly. -Ric
The update seems to work well. Old Producer 2003 projects open in this new version and work just fine with Windows Vista and IE7. Thanks for updating this great free tool. All my other options were both expensive and difficult to implement. Pete
Where did the Beta Program go? Has it been pulled already? I can't seem to find it in the connection directory. I think its great that Microsoft is continueing development on Producer, our company uses it alot.
The download button has disappeared from the Connect page for Producer. I'm looking into this, and will post here when I know more. -Ric
I got in touch with the team and the download button has been restored. Thanks for letting me know. -Ric
Can you tell me where Producer cna be found now? it does nto seen to be on the Connect site anymore!
Hello Garth, Please try connect.microsoft.com/site566 It appears to be working now. Thanks,
Will the Producer tool need to be updated now that Office 2010 has been released?
Hi Adam, Yes, we're making sure the new Producer will work with Office 2010 as well. Watch the blog for an announcement in the near future. Thanks, -Ric Bretschneider
Can someone view the published file (from Producer) if his PC doesn't have Powerpoint installed?