Microsoft and PictureTel submit application-sharing protocol to ITU for consideration as global standard

Microsoft and PictureTel submit applicationsharing protocol to ITU for consideration as global standard —

Contribution will enable end users around the world to take advantage of real-time, cross-platform application sharing

REDMOND, Wash.,–DANVERS, Mass. –June 11, 1996 Microsoft® Corp. and PictureTel®
Corporation today announced they are submitting their jointly owned application-sharing protocol to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for consideration as a new component of the T.120 ITU standard for interoperable data conferencing. The ITU is the international standards organization responsible for ensuring interoperability between telecommunications systems worldwide.

Microsoft and PictureTel are jointly submitting the technology for consideration with the goal of making cross-platform interoperability for application-sharing possible. The current standard, T.120, includes interoperability for whiteboards and file transfer but does not address cross-platform interoperability for sharing applications.

“This contribution represents the culmination of the T.120 standardization process, whereby we can now create a fully interoperable method for people to exchange and collaborate with both images and computer data,”
said Pat Romano, director of advanced development at PolyCom Inc. and editor of the ITU T.120 standardization effort.
“This proven protocol represents the most logical foundation for the international standard.”

This protocol is included in NetMeeting
, Microsoft’s recently announced Internet conferencing product, and PictureTel LiveShare
Plus data-conferencing software. The establishment of this protocol as an open, international standard will allow two or more people to share applications simultaneously across the Internet, corporate LANs or the public telephone network regardless of their hardware platform or operating system. This will enable business professionals and their clients around the world to review and edit documents, make remote presentations, and telecommute between home and office.

Companies from the computing, Internet, conferencing and telecommunications industries support this protocol submission in the interest of moving multivendor, cross-platform interoperability forward. Among those companies are Accord Video Telecommunications Inc., ConferTech International Inc., DataBeam Corp., Farallon Communications Inc., Intel Corp., LiveWorks Inc. (a Xerox Company), networkMCI Conferencing, OnLive! Technologies Inc., OutReach Technologies Inc., PolyCom Inc., Corporation Inc., VideoServer, VIVO Software Inc., VTEL Corp. and White Pine Software.

“Multivendor, cross-platform interoperability is a base requirement for establishing the Internet as a multimedia communications network,”
said John Ludwig, vice president of the Internet platform and tools division at Microsoft.
“By contributing this asset to the ITU, we hope to spur growth and speed adoption of real-time collaboration technology on the Internet and on corporate intranets.”

Dom LaCava, vice president of PictureTel s Enterprise Systems Group, said PictureTel has long been a supporter of and contributor to the development of global standards for videoconferencing and data collaboration.
“Our submission of this protocol to the ITU is a continuation of our effort to create a robust data-conferencing standard,”
LaCava said.
“Currently, the T.120 standard lacks the vital component of application-sharing interoperability. For the good of vendor interoperability, PictureTel is pleased to join with Microsoft to submit this technology to the ITU for consideration for inclusion in the worldwide standard.”

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ MSFT ) 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.

PictureTel Corporation (NASDAQ: PCTL) is the world leader in developing, manufacturing and marketing a full range of visual communications solutions. The company’s products serve videoconferencing needs from the desktop to the boardroom. PictureTel also markets network conferencing products and a comprehensive portfolio of enterprise-wide services. Additional PictureTel information is available on the Internet at PictureTel — Anywhere Now

Microsoft is either a registered trademark or a trademark of Microsoft Corp., in the United States and/or other countries.

PictureTel is a registered trademark and LiveShare Plus and Anywhere Now are trademarks of PictureTel Corp.

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