Konica Minolta Launch of Next-Generation bizhub Line Continues Advancements in Providing Network-Ready Solutions and Market Shift to Color Printing

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bizhub C550, the First in the New Product Line to Market, Offers True Color Replacement for Monochrome MFPs, Accelerates Move to Cost-Effective, Secure Digital Networked MFP Solutions

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The next-generation bizhub product line represents one of the most anticipated product advancements in recent Konica Minolta history, and allows us to continue the legacy of innovation in color imaging that will bring color imaging to the next level.

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. (Konica Minolta), a leading provider of advanced imaging and networking technologies, today introduced the bizhub™ C550, marking the launch of the next-generation of its award-winning bizhub product line. The revolutionary new line of network-enabled multi-function peripherals (MFPs) is designed to offer a true monochrome copier replacement and significant quality and performance enhancements when replacing color MFPs. The next-generation of bizhub MFPs will also provide innovative security features and allows IT administrators to painlessly administer Digital MFP's on their networks.

The next-generation bizhub product line represents a significant leap forward in MFP functionality, and is positioned to strengthen Konica Minolta's hold on the number one market share position for 21+ pages per minute (ppm) color laser MFP shipments in the United States*. Building upon the success of the original bizhub series, which was first launched in 2004, this next-generation bizhub line - starting with the introduction of the bizhub C550 - will allow network administrators to view digital MFPs as core components of their IT networks.

"Our goal with the our bizhub product line is to offer customers a full portfolio of MFP products that deliver unprecedented digital connectivity, exceptional color print quality, and improved workflow capabilities at breakthrough price points. In doing so we have been able to achieve the number one spot in multiple color market segments*," said Jun Haraguchi, president and CEO, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. "The next-generation bizhub product line represents one of the most anticipated product advancements in recent Konica Minolta history, and allows us to continue the legacy of innovation in color imaging that will bring color imaging to the next level."

Rapid Shift to Color and Digital Networked Solutions

In calendar year 2006, Konica Minolta recorded more than 30 percent year-over-year growth in the color marketplace, and as such Konica Minolta's brand value has steadily increased both in the United States and worldwide. Konica Minolta continues to maintain its leadership position within the market based on having the most popular and diverse lineup of products with digital connectivity tailored to the industry, and the No. 1 U.S. market share position in Konica Minolta's key color laser MFP segments (Color 21+ ppm)*.

Due to exceptional price performance and a wide range of products within the next-generation bizhub multi-functional product line, Konica Minolta is leading the end-user transition to color products in offices of all sizes.

Next-generation bizhub - Dynamic Advancements

Dynamic Design - Konica Minolta went against standard convention in designing the next-generation bizhub. From the new dramatic design and small footprint to the full-color LCD panel, the next-generation of bizhub MFPs was designed to blend in with today's work environment.

Secure Working Environment - Konica Minolta is proud to announce the industry's first Biometric Authentication Unit, in which the vein patterns of a finger are scanned, encrypted and stored and are used to distinguish individuals. Add this state-of-the-art feature to Konica Minolta's award-winning and standard feature ("Hard Drive Overwrite Function with Optional Encryption") and overall system security, Konica Minolta is leading the industry in providing document security protocols to end-users.

New Twin-beam Laser Printhead - The bizhub C550, and future next-generation product offerings, save space and energy by leveraging our advanced optical and laser technology.

Excellent Image Quality - Konica Minolta maintains a competitive edge with its use of industry-leading Simitri® HD (High Definition) Color Polymerized Toner, which sets the benchmark standard of high quality output in this new digital age. Simitri HD offers smaller, more consistently uniform particles for superior quality dots and fine lines.

Benefits of IH Fixing - The next generation of bizhub MFPs uses IH (Induction Heating) that enables less energy and heat during start up. The end result is a shorter warm-up time, faster first copy out time, and smaller IH Fixing Unit, which contributes to the overall decrease in machine size.

98% PPH (Print Per Hour) Productivity - The next-generation of bizhub was designed for efficient image stabilization, and to provide significant productivity enhancements over conventional color MFPs.

Reduced Environmental Impact - The bizhub C550 boasts one of the industry's best levels of energy efficiency - almost 65% better than the 21.4 kWh/week needed for certification. As a result, Konica Minolta already meets the new Energy Star standards scheduled to be implemented later this Spring.

IPv6 Support - The next-generation of bizhub MFPs supports Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), the next generation Internet communication protocol, which will soon be the global standard due to its unlimited benefits. Unlike its predecessors, the IPv6 protocol supports a virtually endless supply of unique addresses.

Windows Vista Support - In addition, the next generation bizhub MFPs will be among the first in the industry to provide native support for Windows Vista XPS Printing and Scanning, and WSD protocols allowing for better print reproduction and easy device installation.

bizhub C550 - First of Next-Generation bizhub Line to Market

Combining breakthrough styling with fast color and cost-effective black and white output, the new bizhub C550 is the first in the next-generation series to debut. The bizhub C550 provides all-in-one functionality (print, copy, scan, fax) for high-end office workgroups and applications that require 45 pages per minute (ppm) color and 55 ppm black and white document production.

As the first in a revolutionary new line of network-enabled MFPs, the bizhub C550 was designed to be a true color replacement for monochrome (black and white) devices and incorporates advanced Konica Minolta technologies and new innovative features that deliver better image quality, reliability and enhanced productivity. Most importantly, the bizhub C550 delivers on the customer's need for a true, secured networked solution for document workflow management.

"The first thing customers will notice about the bizhub C550 is its striking appearance, with a new dramatic charcoal gray color scheme and a '360 degree design' that makes it aesthetically pleasing from any angle and allows it to be centered in a busy work environment and not limited to a printing center," said Kevin P. Kern, vice president, product planning and development, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc.

Kern adds, "The design incorporates an 'InfoLine' feature that makes the status of key device functions visible from across the room so users can monitor paper levels, for example, without leaving their desk. Much smaller in size than comparable MFPs, the bizhub C550 packs a powerful combination of quality, speed, reliability, reduced cost of ownership, flexible throughput and finishing, and powerful controller options into a compact footprint so you can do more in less space."

Pricing and Availability

The bizhub C550 is available through Konica Minolta's North American direct sales, authorized dealer and value-added reseller channels. The manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) for the bizhub C550 is $25,000.

About Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A.

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc., offers a broad range of multifunctional digital imaging solutions inspired by its bizhub brand of powerful solutions that serve as the central resource for document scanning, in-house printing, copying, faxing and electronic archiving and distribution. From high-quality color and monochrome bizhub systems for workgroups and small offices, to advanced high-volume bizhub PROTM production printing systems for large corporations and print-for-pay services, Konica Minolta is leading the industry toward integrated, networked hardware/software solutions that are more simple, reliable, and cost-effective. Complementing its bizhub solutions, Konica Minolta also offers desktop laser printers, microform digital imaging systems, wide-format printers and scanning systems for specialized applications.

Headquartered in Ramsey, New Jersey, Konica Minolta delivers expert professional services and experienced, responsive client support, in addition to the world-class service provided through its extensive network of direct sales offices, authorized dealers, resellers and distribution partners in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America and South America. For more information, please visit Konica Minolta at http://www.kmbs.konicaminolta.us.

Konica Minolta Corporate Contact:

James Norberto

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc.

+1 201.825.4000

jnorberto kmbs.konicaminolta.us

Konica Minolta Media Contact:

Rachel Reed

Lois Paul and Partners

1-781-782-5785

Rachel_reed lpp.com

  • - Top U.S. market share position in CY2006 unit shipments for 21+ppm color laser MFPs, according to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker, Q4 2006." Konica Minolta is a trademark of Konica Minolta Holdings, Inc. bizhub and bizhub PRO are trademarks of Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.

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