SOURCE: IBM

August 30, 2006 08:00 ET

Print Industry Leaders Agree to Historic Open Standards Initiative

Industry Consortium to Join in Unparalleled Collaboration Effort for Printing of Customer Communications

BOULDER, CO -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 30, 2006 -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today that a key open standards initiative for the print industry has reached a major milestone. A majority of the AFP Color Consortium, a 28-company standards body, has approved IBM's proposal to fully open the development of the Advanced Function Presentation™ (AFP™) architecture. With this agreement, the members of the consortium will collaboratively develop all extensions to the AFP architecture, which is used by clients worldwide for the high-speed printing of bills, statements and other customer communications. The consortium has already jointly published key color components of the architecture. Today's agreement means that high-speed black and white printing will also be included in the open standards initiative.

"After seeing how well the consortium collaborated to create color management extensions to AFP, we decided, for the good of clients and the industry, to extend this initiative to the entire architecture," said Jeff Paterra, vice president of development and professional services for IBM Printing Systems. "By extending the scope for the technical experts who make up the consortium, we see a real opportunity for continued innovation, with the ultimate goal of increasing functionality and flexibility for clients."

The AFP Color Consortium was created by IBM in October 2004, to work collaboratively on defining the color management portion of the AFP architecture. In January 2006, the group approved the first release of this new open color standard, which has now been published. Members designed the architecture to help businesses develop device-independent color applications, resources and workflows that can be printed initially with high-quality grayscales and, eventually, in color.

The current members of the AFP Color Consortium are:

--  Hardware vendors IBM, Kodak, Lexmark, Océ, Xeikon, and Xerox
    
--  Software vendors CDP Communications, Cincom, Compart Systemhaus, COPI,
    Crawford Technologies, DocuCorp International, Document Sciences
    Corporation, Elixir Technologies, Emtex, Exstream Software, FormsPath, GMC
    Software Technology, Group 1, Intermate, Inventive Designers, ISIS Papyrus,
    Metavante, MPI, Printsoft, Solimar Systems, StreamServe and Xenos Group.
    
For more information about the AFP Color Consortium, visit its on-line community: www.afpcolor.org. The web site is designed to provide information and documentation on the open color elements of the AFP architecture.

For more information about IBM's output solutions visit ibm.com/printers.

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