SAN FRANCISCO, March 11, 1996 — Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp., with support from more than 100 leading companies, today announced an open platform that builds on industry standards to make video, voice and data communications over the Internet as commonplace as a simple telephone call. The new implementation, which is being jointly developed by Intel and Microsoft, is scheduled to be delivered later this year. Over time, customers will be able to communicate in new and exciting ways over the Internet, regardless of their computer platforms. For example, business users will be able to make video, voice and data conference calls, collaborate, and share their applications with others over the Internet. Students will be able to attend classes, see live video of their instructors, and view classroom materials over the Internet. Grandparents will be able to see, talk and play games with their grandchildren through Internet video telephones.
The communications implementation includes International Telecommunications Union (ITU) standards and Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) specifications, including the T.120 standard for data conferencing, the H.323 standard for audio and video conferencing, and the RTP/RTCP and RSVP specifications. Computer software, hardware and telecommunications vendors will be able to take advantage of this communications implementation by adding core technology such as enhanced voice and video codecs (compression and decompression algorithms), or by developing new applications, equipment and services. The standards-based approach will allow third-party Internet communications products to work together easily across standards-compliant operating systems and hardware platforms. For example, someone using a Microsoft® Windows® -based PC could place a video telephone call reliably over the Internet to someone using a Macintosh® or UNIX®
Industry Supports New Implementation
This new standards-based communications implementation has drawn immediate, strong and broad industry support from major hardware and software vendors, Internet multimedia companies, Internet service providers, telecommunications carriers and network-equipment suppliers. Leading companies supporting this implementation include 3Com, Accord Video Telecommunications Inc., Acer Advanced Labs, ACOTEC-The ISDN Company, ADTRAN Inc., Analog Devices, AST, Bay Networks Inc., BBN, Boca Research Inc., C-CUBE, Camelot Corporations, CheckPoint Software Technologies Inc., Chips at Work, Chromatic Research Inc., Cirrus Logic Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Compaq Computer Corp., Compression Labs Inc. (CLI), Compunetix, CompuServe Inc., Computer Power Ltd., ConferTech, Connectix, Creative Labs Inc., Crystal Semiconductor, Data Connection Ltd. (DCL), DataBeam, DEC, Dell Computer, Deutsche Telecom, Dialogic Inc., Diamond Multimedia Systems Inc., Digi International Inc., DSP Group Inc., Eicon Technology Inc., Elmic Systems Inc., EPiLOG, ESS Technology Inc., Farallon Computing Inc., FORE Systems, Fujitsu, Future Labs Inc., Gateway 2000, General Datacom, Global Village Communications Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Hitachi, IAT AG, Impact Video, Intergraph, Jetstream Communications Inc., Just Systems Corp., Kokusai Denshin Denwa Co. Ltd. (KDD), Lernout & Hauspie, LG Electronics, Liveworks, Lotus Development Corp., Madge Networks, Matsushita Electric Co. Ltd., Microcom, Micron, MirraCom Inc., Mitel Corp., Multilink, Natural MicroSystems, NEC Corp., NETCOM On-line Communication Services Inc., Netmanage, NetSpeak Corp., NORTEL, Novell, Octel Communications, Oki Electric Industry Co., Olivetti, ONLIVE! Technologies, Otsuka Shokai Co. Inc., Outreach Technologies Inc., Packard Bell, Philips Semiconductor, PictureTel, Polycom Inc., Precept Software Inc., Progressive Networks, Pyramid Technology, Quarterdeck, Racal-Datacom, RADVision, Rhetorix, Rockwell Semiconductor Systems, S3 Inc., SAT, Sharp, Shiva Corp., Siemens-Nixdorf Information Systems Inc., Sierra Semiconductor, Smart Technologies Inc., Softbank, Sprint,
SSA Softwright, Stentor Research, Symantec Corp., Telefonica de Espa
a, Teleglobe Inc., Teleos, Telstra Multimedia, Toshiba America Information Systems, Toshiba Japan, Triadigm Technology, UUNET Technologies, VCON Telecommunications, VDOnet, VideoServer, Vivo Software Inc., VocalTec Ltd., Voxware Inc., VTEL, White Pine Software, Workstation Technologies, Xing Technology and Zydacron Inc.
“This new implementation will make the Internet as crucial for daily communications as the telephone, but far more powerful,”
said Paul Maritz, group vice president of platforms at Microsoft.
“The telephone’s success has depended in large part on interoperability. Phones, networks and software all work together and conform to a compatible set of standards. Finally, Internet hardware, software and networks will enjoy that same interoperability and compatibility.”
“This implementation, combined with widely deployed high-performance PCs, will fundamentally change the model of communication on the Internet,”
said Frank Gill, senior vice president of the Internet and communications group, Intel Corp.
“Businesses will reach consumers with both information and personal services. Families, interest groups and friends will use rich new applications such as video telephones to communicate. Imagine being able to look at a product or service from a Web site catalog and point and click to get a live representative to help you with your selections and decisions – all from your PC.”
“The IMTC is very pleased with this open architecture,”
said Neil Starkey, president of the International Multimedia Teleconferencing Consortium (IMTC).
“With integral support for ITU conferencing standards, the architecture will ensure interoperability for end users and the widespread use of rich multimedia communications over the Internet.”
“This industrywide commitment to standards will take the risk out of integrating Internet-based communications into Marriott’s VacationClub.com Web site,”
said Rob Auster, director of new media at Marriott Vacation Club International.
“I’m looking forward to delivering this technology to more than 70,000 vacation-club owners worldwide.”
Microsoft plans to include the new communications capabilities as part of its ActiveX
Technologies in future releases of the Windows operating system and associated developer kits. The technology will be packaged as an ActiveX control for easy integration in Web pages, applications and other active content. Intel plans to include these capabilities in future ProShare PC-based conferencing products and will work to integrate this new implementation and other new multimedia communications capabilities into the base PC platform. NetScape
Navigator plug-ins will also be available.
This new implementation will be shared for the first time with thousands of developers at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference in San Francisco March 12-14, 1996. Multimedia communications extensions to the operating system, conferencing APIs, developer kits and developer programs will be reviewed at the conference.
To help encourage the adoption of industry standards, IMTC is sponsoring a series of interoperability-testing events. The first such event, Event-120, is a forum for companies developing or providing products based on the ITU T.120 multipoint data-conferencing standard. Event-120 is scheduled for March 25-27, 1996, in Santa Clara, Calif. Additional interoperability-testing events will be announced.
Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of personal computer, networking and communications products.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
Microsoft, Windows and ActiveX are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Macintosh is a registered trademark of Apple Computer Inc.
UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries, licensed exclusively through X/Open Co. Ltd.
ProShare is a trademark of Intel Corp.
NetScape is a trademark of NetScape Communications Corp.