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Esko Software Suite 7 sets new benchmark

Press release from the issuing company

Gent (Belgium), April 2, 2007 - Esko, the leading global system integrator for packaging pre-production, announces the roll-out of Esko Software Suite 7, a complete update of its design and pre-production software tools offering significant improvements in features, productivity and compatibility with third party software. Esko Software Suite 7 is fully compatible with Adobe's latest PDF standards and Creative Suite application versions. Native support for all Adobe Illustrator blending modes speeds up workflows by up to 50%, as file flattening is reduced to an absolute minimum. Esko Software Suite 7 further adds new capabilities for variable data digital printing and JDF integration with business systems. Beta testing started in January 2007 and resulted in very positive feedback from the early users. Global commercial availability is planned for the 7th of July, 2007. Esko Software Suite 7 - another step in a long tradition "For years, professionals in the packaging industry have relied on Esko software to create and prepare designs for high-quality production", remarks Arjen Maarleveld, Senior Vice President Packaging Solutions. "The entire supply chain recognizes the value and expertise Esko delivers with its integrated solutions. As new application requirements and business challenges present themselves continuously, we felt it was time for a comprehensive update of our Scope products, introduced three years ago. Esko Software Suite 7 sets new standards for state-of-the-art packaging design and pre-production." Esko Software Suite 7 components include: * Esko ArtiosCAD, for structural design of folding carton and corrugated packaging and for manufacturing of die-cutting tools; * Esko DeskPack, the family of packaging plug-ins for Adobe(r) Creative Suite(r) applications; * Esko Plato, controlling step&repeat operations for packages and labels; * Esko BackStage for workflow automation, error-reduction and JDF-based system integration; * Esko FlexRip and associated screening options for high-quality output to the widest range of CtP devices, digital presses and proofers; * Esko Kaleidoscope, best-in-class ICC compatible color management for multi-color printing; * Esko WebCenter, for on-line collaboration and efficient approval workflows. 7 reasons for moving to Esko Software Suite 7 The most important reasons to buy or upgrade to the new version of the Esko Software Suite are: 1. Full compatibility with the latest Adobe PDF and Adobe CS3 technologies, ensuring that the job retains maximum editability throughout the entire workflow, resulting in faster job throughput and reduced risk for errors. 2. Stronger integration of CAD and graphics, so designers can easily apply graphics to die shapes and immediately evaluate results in three dimensions, resulting in a more efficient design and development. 3. Improved processing speed, because flattening of jobs during normalization is reduced to the absolute minimum, jobs remain fully editable and are processed up to 50% faster. 4. A digital printing-ready workflow, including a guaranteed color match across printing processes and capabilities for variable data printing, meeting market demands for shorter runs and personalized packaging. 5. Improved workflow collaboration, using JDF for integration with business systems, enhancing production automation. 6. Support for multi-color process printing, based on an efficient and easy-to-install implementation of a color-managed workflow. 7. A variety of soft proofing solutions, including a 'digital film' bitmap viewer and various inspection tools for Esko WebCenter. The power of integration and collaboration Many parties collaborate in today's design and pre-production process. Esko realizes that a tight but flexible integration between their respective roles is a key enabler of efficiency gains, error reduction and value creation. This becomes even more visible as roles are shifting between players, and functions or companies consolidate. "Our customers point us to pain points in their current workflows, and also to opportunities for future business expansion", explains Maarleveld. "We like to think of Esko as their long-term partner providing both the 'pain killers' and the 'vitamins' required to make them more profitable and successful. And the new Esko Software Suite 7 is loaded with these!" Users can get additional value from the Esko Software Suite by combining it with other software and hardware products from Esko as well as from third party suppliers. Esko is increasingly asked to provide systems integration services for such configurations, and makes the expertise of Esko employees available to its customers through training, application support and consultancy services.