Progressive Networks and Microsoft Announce Streaming Media Partnership

SAN FRANCISCO, March 12, 1996 — Progressive Networks (PN) and Microsoft Corp. today announced they have reached an agreement to collaborate on streaming-media product offerings. As a cornerstone of this collaboration, PN announced strong support for the Microsoft®
Streaming Format, designed to allow delivery of real-time audio and video content over the Internet and corporate networks. PN’s RealAudio
System will support ActiveMovie Streaming Format in upcoming releases. In addition, Microsoft announced that the RealAudio Player and the RealAudio Personal Server supporting ActiveMovie Streaming Format will be shipped as standard features of upcoming releases of Microsoft Internet Explorer.

“We are very enthusiastic about working with ActiveMovie Streaming Format and building support for it into our products,”
said Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO of Progressive Networks.
“We’re also excited that Microsoft, already one of our largest customers, will for the first time be including RealAudio Servers as a standard part of Microsoft Internet Explorer.”

“With over 3 million Players in distribution, Progressive Networks’ RealAudio has become the premier technology for delivering low-bit rate-streaming media over the Internet,”
said Paul Maritz, group vice president of the platforms group at Microsoft.
“Having successfully used RealAudio as a key element of projects such as the Microsoft NFL Super Bowl Site, it seemed like a logical next step for us to include RealAudio Personal Servers as a standard part of Microsoft Internet Explorer.”

Microsoft announced the ActiveMovie Streaming Media technology today to thousands of developers at its Professional Developers Conference here. The ActiveMovie Streaming Format is an open and extensible data-independent format for storing and transmitting multimedia content over a wide range of networks and transports. ActiveMovie Streaming Format allows multiple data objects (for example, audio objects, video objects, still images, events, URLs, hypertext markup language (HTML) pages, and programs) to be combined and stored in a single synchronized multimedia stream. It provides an encapsulation that allows existing popular media types and formats – such as MPEG, AVI, .WAV and Apple® QuickTime®
– to be synchronized and stored efficiently on a variety of servers.

Progressive Networks plans to support the ActiveMovie Streaming Format in upcoming versions of the RealAudio System and will deliver an ASF-compatible version of the RealAudio System during 1996. PN will also work with Microsoft to promulgate ActiveMovie Streaming Format within standards organizations such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

Progressive Networks’ RealAudio Personal Server enables individuals to serve up real-time audio on demand from their PCs or personal Web sites. By including the RealAudio Personal Server as a standard feature of Microsoft Internet offerings, including Microsoft Internet Explorer, Microsoft will help make streaming-media servers as ubiquitous as Web (HTTP) servers.

Progressive Networks’ RealAudio Player has been included as part of Microsoft Internet Explorer since it was introduced as part of the launch of the Windows 95®
operating system. The RealAudio Player is also included as a standard part of the Microsoft Plus! companion for Windows 95.

Progressive Networks’ RealAudio client-server software system enables Internet and online users equipped with conventional multimedia personal computers and voice-grade telephone lines to browse, select and play back audio or audio-based multimedia content on demand, in real time. This is a breakthrough compared to typical download times encountered with conventional online methods, in which audio is downloaded at a rate that is five times longer than the actual program; the listener must wait 25 minutes before listening to just five minutes of audio. Since the product’s introduction in April 1995, more than 3 million RealAudio Players have been distributed. Thousands of Web sites on the Internet offer RealAudio content.

The RealAudio System consists of RealAudio Player, a client-based software enabling Internet and online users to access existing audio for instant playback, and the RealAudio Server, which enables major media content providers to distribute audio or audio-based multimedia streams over the Internet to a broad base of users. A RealAudio Encoder allows individuals to encode their audio programming for nearly any analog or digital source.
Progressive Networks (, based in Seattle, develops and markets software products and services designed to enable users of personal computers and other digital devices to send and receive audio and audio-based multimedia services using the existing infrastructure.

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 everyday.

RealAudio is a trademark of Progressive Networks.

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

Apple and QuickTime are registered trademarks of Apple Computer Inc.

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