Panasonic and Microsoft Announce Adoption Of Windows Media Technologies in Panasonic Consumer Devices

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 7, 2002 — Today at the 2002 International CES, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (Panasonic) and Microsoft Corp. announced plans to support Microsoft®
Windows Media (TM) Technologies across a range of Panasonic-brand consumer devices. The two companies will reveal the first example of their cooperation in a keynote address by Bill Gates this evening, with the unveiling of the new Panasonic DVD player model DVD-RV32, the first of many Panasonic DVD players that will support Windows Media Audio (WMA). This is the first public demonstration of a DVD player supporting WMA; the DVD-RV32 is expected to be available to consumers in the United States in February. Panasonic also is supporting WMA in its e-wear (TM) SD Audio Player SV-SD80, and will be supporting Windows Media Technologies on its chips for DVD players and CD players beginning with WMA.

“Adding WMA support for playback on CD-R and CD-RW, as well as DVD and DVD-R playback, to our products makes them more attractive to the millions of users in terms of both ease of use and compatibility,” said Fumio Ohtsubo, managing director of Matsushita Electric. “Panasonic consumers will be able to listen to CDs with over 22 hours of their own WMA music on a single disk right on their DVD players. The addition of WMA will give this new Panasonic DVD player extremely high levels of compatibility and flexibility.”

“This is a significant evolutionary step in the convergence of digital media technology with traditional audio and video consumer electronics,” said Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. “Today Panasonic, one of the leading consumer electronics brands in the world, ushers in a new era for consumers that will make it easier than ever to bring their digital media from their PC right into their living room.”

Today’s announcement underscores the continued adoption of Windows Media Technologies by the world’s leading consumer electronics companies. Windows Media is now supported by the leading chip manufacturers for DVD and CD players and is incorporated into more than 100 consumer devices.

First DVD Player Supporting WMA Unveiled Today: Panasonic DVD-RV32

The Panasonic DVD-RV32 will play prerecorded DVD videos, self-recorded DVD-R1 video discs, audio CDs and self-recorded CD-R/RW2 discs with WMA as well as MP3 formats. The DVD-RV32 is the first of many Panasonic DVD players that will support WMA. This broadens the range of digital media content that can be played on a single device. The Audio Navigation Menu conveniently displays the titles of the songs on the disc, allowing users to find and play their favorite tracks, even from the tree-structured menu screen on a television, just by using the remote control. The new DVD-RV32 has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $199.95 (U.S.).

Windows Media Audio and Video Benefits

Windows Media Audio makes it possible to store twice as much CD-quality music on hard drives, portable music players and other consumer electronics devices compared to MP3. WMA also lets consumers transfer more than 22 hours of music onto a single CD or create nearly a week of uninterrupted music, more than 250 albums, on a single DVD-R disk. Windows Media Video — the best technology for both streamed and downloadable movies — enables a full-length feature film to be stored on a single CD, or eventually, multiple films on a single DVD-R.

Visitors are welcome to experience for themselves the full benefit of the new Panasonic DVD-RV32 DVD player with WMA capability at the Panasonic booth (Las Vegas Convention Center, booth no. 2001, in the Central Hall) as well as at the Microsoft booth (LVCC, no. 1401) at CES.

About Windows Media

Windows Media is the leading digital media platform, providing unmatched audio and video quality to consumers, content providers, solution providers and software developers as well as business, education and government users. Windows Media offers the industry’s only integrated digital rights-management solution and the most scalable and reliable streaming technology tested by independent labs. Windows Media Technologies includes Windows Media Player for consumers, Windows Media Services for servers, Windows Media Tools for content creation, and the Windows Media Software Development Kit for software developers. Windows Media Player, available in 26 languages, is the fastest-growing and now leading media player. More information about Windows Media can be found at .

About Panasonic

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (NYSE: “MC”) is a worldwide leader in the development of technologies for and the production of electronic and electric products for consumer, business and industrial use. It recorded sales of $61.45 billion for the fiscal year ended March 2001. Matsushita Electric and its affiliates have over 290,000 employees in 46 countries.

Panasonic brand DVD players and e-wear audio players are marketed in the United States by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. The company is a division of Matsushita Electric Corp. of America, the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd.

Additional information about Matsushita Electric and its Panasonic brand products is available at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

1 This unit can play Panasonic DVD-R discs recorded with the Panasonic DVD Recorder DMR-E20. Other DVD-R discs may not be playable, depending on the DVD-R disc used and the recording conditions.

2 This unit can play CD-DA format audio CD-R and CD-RW discs. It may not be able to play some CD-R or CD-RW discs due to the condition of the recording.

Specifications are subject to change without notice.

Microsoft, Windows Media and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

For online information:

Visit the Microsoft Web site at .

Visit the Matsushita Electric Web site at and Panasonic Web site at .

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.