Microsoft Delivers ActiveMovie for Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0

REDMOND, Wash., July 16, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that the ActiveMovie
™API, the next-generation digital video and audio technology for the desktop and the Internet, will be included as part of Microsoft® Internet Explorer version 3.0. With ActiveMovie runtime components built into Microsoft Internet Explorer, consumers will have an easy and quick way to download and play video and audio in all major formats on the Internet. Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 is the first browser for the World Wide Web to provide built-in playback support for MPEG video and audio, and the first to take advantage of Microsoft’s DirectX
™
technology for accelerating video playback. Users can download the Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 beta 2 version with a beta release of ActiveMovie from the Microsoft Internet Explorer Web site http://microsoft.com/ie/ free of charge.

“By including ActiveMovie in Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0, Microsoft is providing a single solution to make it easy for users to view movies and hear audio content present on the Internet,”
said John Ludwig, vice president of Internet platforms, multimedia division, at Microsoft.
“Webmasters now have the flexibility to add a wider range of compelling multimedia content to their Web pages and have confidence that it can best be viewed with Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0.”

For the Internet, highlights of ActiveMovie include these features:

  • Integrated playback support for all popular video and audio formats on the Internet including MPEG. With ActiveMovie, Microsoft Internet Explorer users have a single browsing solution that eliminates the need to download separate movie viewers or audio playback applications to access content in the most popular video and audio formats used on the Internet. ActiveMovie provides playback support for video and audio formats including Video for Windows® , QuickTime® , MPEG video, WAV, AU, AIFF and MPEG audio. MPEG playback allows users to experience television-quality video and CD-quality audio, while minimizing the file size and download time compared to other video and audio formats.

  • Progressive playback of audio and video files. ActiveMovie allows users of Microsoft Internet Explorer to begin playback of video and audio files without having to wait for the entire file to be downloaded. This capability allows users to begin to see video and hear audio content quicker that the traditional
    “download and play”
    mechanism commonly used by Internet browsers.

  • Support for streaming playback of video and audio content. The ActiveMovie Streaming Format (ASF) provides a new, efficient data format specification for storing and streaming multimedia content, such as audio objects, video objects, still images, URLs and HTML pages. ASF stores content as a single, synchronized multimedia stream that can be stored on existing HTTP servers or used with the upcoming release of a specialized Microsoft streaming server. Because ASF is a streaming format, playback can begin immediately.

  • Transparent hardware acceleration for better playback performance. ActiveMovie uses and is integrated with Microsoft’s DirectX technology, automatically accelerating video playback on DirectDraw
    ™
    API-compatible graphics cards.

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.

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

QuickTime is a registered trademark of Apple Computer Inc.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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