Microsoft “Center for Information Work” Employs Sony Business Solutions in Office Model of the Future

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 26, 2002 — At today’s opening of Microsoft Corp.’s
“Center for Information Work”
(CIW) here guests will see demonstrations of Sony’s integrated business solutions, including high-performance LCD projectors along with flat-panel plasma and LCD monitors networked with Microsoft software and operating systems, as part of this futuristic work environment.

“Our objective was to build software that uses the power of today’s leading-edge networking, integration and communications technologies — combining the respective expertise and products of Acer, Intel and Sony Electronics — to make employees more efficient,”
said Microsoft’s Thomas Gruver, group marketing manager, Center for Information Work.

The result is the CIW, a prototype work environment that uses familiar workplace situations to demonstrate tomorrow’s concepts for improving information management, access to important data and remote connectivity. The solutions represent technologies that could go to market in three to five years.

“For this project, it was evident that Sony Electronics was the clear choice to help us with the big picture in the areas of information display and collaboration tools,”
Gruver noted.
“We already use Sony displays in a variety of places on the Microsoft campus, so we naturally turned to Sony to supply its best display technology, including benchmark LCD projectors, high- resolution, flat-panel plasma monitors and computer displays for this project. In fact, of those customers who have seen an advanced preview of the CIW, there has been overwhelming interest in the types of Sony technologies displayed.”

Built and housed in Building 34 at Microsoft headquarters, the CIW focuses on real-world scenarios to help employees explore the best ways to communicate and manage information across a variety of technologies and platforms, including voice mail, e-mail and video mail. Visitors, by appointment, can tour the center. The CIW is geared to an executive-level audience made up of Fortune 1000 companies.

A 42-inch (viewable area, measured diagonally), widescreen Sony PFM-42B1 PlasmaPro monitor is positioned in the foyer of the center, which displays a video clip that sets the stage for the business scenarios that visitors will face.

In the CIW model and prototype work environment, each employee workstation includes Sony 15- and 18-inch (viewable area, measured diagonally) flat-panel LCD monitors (models: SDM-S51/B and SDM-S81/B), lined up side-by-side across the desk to form a large display screen. Visitors can view content — e-mail on one screen, documents on another, and video on the other. Microsoft BroadBench software allows them to drag-and-drop files from one Sony screen to the next to help multi-task, and manage the information flow and exchange.

In the same workspace, three Sony VPL-FX50 SuperSmart network projectors, integrated with Microsoft’s BroadBench technology, stand side-by-side-by side, projecting rear-screen images. This set-up allows presenters to show a widescreen, multimedia view of their desktop PCs in high brightness as displayed by the 3500 ANSI lumens* projector.

For large-screen projection, the conference room is also equipped with a 4000 ANSI lumens Sony VPL-FE110 SuperSmart network projector. Connected to a videoconferencing system, this IP-addressable system displays images originating in the room, but also rich media content across the network.

Both the Sony VPL-FX50 and VPL-FE110 SuperSmart projectors can be assigned an IP address to connect to corporate servers, desktop PCs, or even other conference rooms. They can display presentations over Ethernet, including text, graphics, Excel spreadsheets, web pages, PowerPoint presentations and Word documents, in addition to J-PEG and GIF images.

The Sony projectors also feature ad hoc peer-to-peer networking, which means that there is no LAN infrastructure required other than 802.11b cards in the projector and the PC. Also, equipped with a Windows®
CE 3.0 board, these projectors can store files and presentations, up to 64MB of on-board storage on the projector. Additional storage is available via a PC card or removable Memory Stick
&reg
media.

“With the CIW project, we have taken a leading role in helping Microsoft project a future path for the way employees could conduct business and manage information,”
said Tom Mykietyn, senior national marketing manager for Sony Electronics’ Business Solutions and Systems Company.
“With this initiative, we’re showing how IP-enabled solutions and Sony displays, being offered today, can play a role in that vision, even five years out.”

He added,
“The CIW is further evidence of the commitment of our Business Solutions and Systems Company to offer our customers, such as Microsoft, a wide range of solutions and products to allow them to improve their workflow and productivity.”

For details about the CIW, visit http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/ciw/ . For more information about Sony display solutions, visit www.sony.com/professional .

* ANSI lumens is a measuring method developed for the American National Standards Institute. Since there is no uniform method of reporting brightness, specifications will vary among manufacturers.

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

Editor’s Note: For more detailed information regarding the nearest Sony authorized dealer or service location, readers can call 1-800-686-SONY or visit www.sony.com/professional . For additional press information and digital images, please visit Sony Electronics’ news and information web site at www.sony.com/news .