In December 2002, Microsoft announced the first version of Plus! Digital Media Edition. It then released the product on January 7, 2003. The release was notable for a number of reasons. First, Plus! DME was the first paid Microsoft product to be distributed online. Second, it was launched as part of Microsoft's "Corona" wave, which included Windows Media Player 9 Series and the accompanying 9 Series audio and video codecs. And finally, Plus! DME included one of the most impressive photo slideshow applications ever made, Plus! Photo Story.
Coincidentally, Apple Computer announced iMovie 3.0 for Mac on January 7, 2003 as well. That product included a highly-publicized feature called "the Ken Burns effect" which provided iMovie with Plus! Photo Story-style animations and slideshows. Curiously, given Apple's digital media strengths, however, iMovie 3.0 and the Ken Burns effect were harder to use and delivered poorer results than did Photo Story. I find it odd to this day that, while Microsoft announced its product first and delivered a more elegant solution and simpler solution, Apple is still given credit for "innovating" with animated photo slideshows.
Download: Photo Story 3
News source: Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows