Xerox Corporation is developing advanced scanning and printing capabilities for its office multifunction systems that will support “Metro,” the code-name for a new set of document technologies that Microsoft Corporation is building into the next generation of its Windows platform, code-named “Longhorn.”

“Metro” will further enable customers to effortlessly manage documents throughout the document lifecycle, from creation and printing to scanning and archiving.

“By combining Xerox expertise in smarter document management with the new XML-based capabilities of ‘Metro,’ we will help clients use documents as tools to drive productivity and business growth,” said Tim Williams, president, Xerox Office Group. “We know that virtually all fundamental business processes involve documents. It makes sense for Xerox to further develop features that support ‘Metro’ to help customers more effectively create, print, share and archive documents.”

At the Microsoft WinHEC conference, a gathering of hardware engineers, designers and product planners, Microsoft showcased scanning and printing using “Metro” and Xerox WorkCentre Pro advanced multifunction devices. “Metro,” planned for release with the “Longhorn” version of Windows in the second half of 2006, is a new document format, spool file, and page description language. “Metro” uses open standards such as XML, XAML and ZIP so that it can be used with a wide range of devices and applications.

Xerox’s support for “Metro” is bolstered by the use of Xerox Mixed Raster Content technology, which significantly reduces the file size of scanned documents without compromising image quality – resulting in faster processing speeds, reduced network bandwidth demands and decreased file storage space requirements. Xerox devices will also support printing of “Metro,” which enables value-added processing in the print path.

Xerox Corporation’s integration with “Metro” is a result of significant R&D investments including the company’s partner, Fuji Xerox. Fuji Xerox, a 25/75 joint venture with Xerox and Fuji Photo Film Co. Ltd., is the hub of Xerox operations in Japan and the markets in the Pacific Rim.

“Metro” is designed to provide people who use Xerox systems more power to manipulate and update their documents. Even while the document is enroute from the PC to the printer, people can add items such as watermarks, barcodes, headers and footers, and cover pages. In scanned documents, “Metro” will also let people use digital signatures and define who can access a document. In addition, new print and color architectures from Microsoft will allow Xerox to add various functionalities to “Metro” to enhance its overall capabilities ranging from scanning to printing.

“Xerox adds a unique dimension to this project that will greatly enhance the customer’s experience. Utilizing ‘Metro’ with Xerox multifunction devices and printers will help customers optimize digital document workflows with reduced file sizes that won’t slow their systems,” said Neil Charney, director of marketing for the Windows client division at Microsoft.