Microsoft TV Announces Plans for Complete IP-Based Television Solution For Broadband Operators

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 9, 2003 — Microsoft Corp.’s Microsoft TV Division today announced plans for the development of a new Internet Protocol television (IPTV) delivery solution designed to enable cable and telecommunications operators to more easily and efficiently offer improved and next-generation TV services over existing broadband networks. This new initiative will bring together state-of-the-art technologies from Microsoft and other industry leaders into an integrated, end-to-end solution that will support the full range of pay-TV services while scaling to millions of TV subscribers. In separate announcements made today, Bell Canada and Reliance Intercomm announced plans to jointly create and test new IPTV services with Microsoft TV, using the new Microsoft®
TV IPTV solution. A prototype of the Microsoft TV IPTV solution will be demonstrated publicly for the first time starting this weekend at ITU Telecom World 2003 in Geneva, in the Microsoft booth in Hall 4, Stand 4100.

Better Viewer Experiences

Microsoft TV will work closely with network operators and industry partners to develop compelling viewer experiences that deliver improvements on traditional digital TV services as well as next-generation ones. Planned features include instant channel changing, multimedia programming guides with integrated video, and multiple picture-in-picture capability on standard television sets. High-definition television, next-generation digital video recording and video on demand (VOD) functionality also will be supported.

Complete Solution

Microsoft TV’s offering will be a complete end-to-end solution spanning a range from video management and delivery to consumer TV experiences, making it easier for operators to get started and quickly expand their IPTV businesses. Microsoft TV’s solution will integrate the state-of-the-art quality and compression efficiency of Microsoft Windows Media® 9 Series, which has approximately three times the efficiency of MPEG-2 and twice that of MPEG-4, providing network operators with substantial bandwidth savings in the delivery of live and on-demand services in standard and high-definition formats. This will enable operators to provide new revenue-generating TV services in addition to their current broadband offerings. The Microsoft TV solution also will be designed to support the range of Windows®
Embedded operating systems for IPTV set-top boxes, including Windows CE .NET.

Security and Scalability

Microsoft TV’s solution will be designed to help ensure quality and security of services. The solution is expected to support robust digital rights management (DRM) technology to help secure content while adding new standards-based service protection to provide the higher levels of security for video assets and TV services that operators and content providers demand. Microsoft TV also will focus on economically scaling to millions of subscribers through intelligent management of video assets and their delivery.

Industry Support

While Microsoft TV will be integrating key Microsoft technologies, it will also work closely with many leading companies in its development efforts. Industry leaders planning to work with Microsoft TV on the IPTV solution include Harmonic Inc. and TANDBERG Television, the leaders in real-time video encoding solutions for broadcast and IPTV telecommunications companies; Juniper Networks Inc., a leader in IP-based infrastructure platforms; Intel Corp., a leader in silicon for computing, communications and consumer electronics devices for the home; Pace Micro Technology, a leader in broadband digital TV in the home; and Thomson, a worldwide leader in video technologies, products and services. Working with Microsoft TV extends the relationships that these companies already have with Windows Media.

“Microsoft’s vision for IPTV has the potential not only to improve the TV viewing experience but also to continue to change how video and TV services are delivered to consumers today,” said Michelle Abraham of In-Stat/MDR. “Microsoft is well positioned to bring the technology, partnerships and resources required to help the pay-TV industry take a major step forward toward the introduction of next-generation TV services over broadband IP networks.”

“With IP networks reaching scale and maturity, the next generation of TV services is within our reach,” said Moshe Lichtman, corporate vice president of the Microsoft TV Division. “Last summer we launched our Foundation product targeting current-generation networks. Our IPTV solution is a natural next step and will be designed to bring together the best of Microsoft and industry innovations to open up new revenue opportunities for existing pay-TV network operators as well as other broadband operators looking to expand their markets into video delivery.”

About the Microsoft TV Platform

Microsoft TV is a family of standards-based client and server software products and related developer tools that help network operators create digital TV services which delight subscribers and derive more value from digital TV investments. Microsoft TV enables the delivery of new services such as VOD, on-demand storefronts, interactive program guides, managed content services, digital video recording, enhanced programming, e-mail, instant messaging and more, across a full range of set-top boxes and TV devices. More information about Microsoft TV can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/tv/ .

About Windows Media

Windows Media is the leading digital media platform, used by consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations throughout the world. The Windows Media 9 Series platform includes Windows Media Player 9 Series; Windows Media Services 9 Series, the powerful streaming server feature in Windows Server (TM) 2003 for distributing content; Windows Media Encoder 9 Series for content creation; Windows Media Audio and Video 9 Series for the best-quality audio and video; Windows Media Digital Rights Management to help protect content; and the Windows Media Software Development Kit for software developers to develop digital media products and services. Windows Media Player, available in 26 languages, is now the leading media player. More information about Windows Media can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmedia/ .

About the Microsoft Windows Embedded Family

Microsoft is the worldwide leader in providing adaptable and scalable platforms for building the next generation of 32-bit, connected devices that enable rich applications and services. Microsoft Windows Embedded is a family of operating system software for use in embedded devices such as automated teller machines (ATMs), consumer electronics, gateways, industrial controllers, kiosks, mobile handheld devices, point-of-sale terminals, set-top boxes, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) phones and Windows-based thin clients. The Windows Embedded family of operating systems consists of Windows XP Embedded, which delivers the power of Windows XP Professional in componentized form for flexible development of reliable and advanced devices, and Windows CE .NET, an advanced, real-time operating system for small-footprint devices. More information about the Windows Embedded family of operating systems can be found at http://msdn.microsoft.com/embedded/default.aspx .

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.

The information contained herein relates to prerelease software that may be substantially modified before its first commercial release. Accordingly, the information may not accurately describe or reflect the software when first commercially released. This press release is provided for informational purposes only, and Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to press release or the information contained in it.

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