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Thursday, September 20, 2001
Microsoft device turns TV into photo album


Microsoft on Thursday debuted a device that lets people view digital photographs on their televisions.

The $159 TV Photo Viewer allows people to create slide shows on their TVs with photos from digital cameras, e-mail attachments or scanners, the company said. Using a PC, people can select up to 40 pictures, save them to a standard floppy disk, and then use software to sort, crop, edit and add captions. A remote control that comes with the TV Photo Viewer allows people to direct the slide show.

Microsoft isn't the only company offering tools for viewing digital images in the living room. Eastman Kodak, for example, announced deals this summer with several companies to create DVD players and CD players that can display photos on a TV.

The TV Photo Viewer, which reached stores Thursday, is the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant's latest effort to tap into the growing market for digital photos. Market researcher IDC estimates that digital camera shipments in the United States are on target for 10 percent growth this year, compared with last year.

Chris Chute, an analyst at IDC, said devices such as Microsoft's could greatly expand the number of people who can view digital images. "It confirms the trend of companies looking to offer devices for digital cameras that allow" people to view photos in different ways, Chute said. "Such tools are going to expand the market from the digital camera and scanner user to the mainstream consumer."


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