REDMOND, Wash., July 23, 1996 — More than 75 companies joinedMicrosoft Corp. last week for the design preview of Microsoft’s conferencing initiative and to review Microsoft’s direction for building International Telecommunications Union (ITU) standards and Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) specifications into Windows® operating systems and Microsoft® NetMeeting
conferencing software. The meeting represented a key milestone in the effort to drive innovation of the ActiveX
Conferencing platform, Microsoft’s open, standards-based set of conferencing technologies.
The standards include the T.120 standard for data conferencing, the H.323 standard for audio and video conferencing, and Microsoft’s proposal to the IETF for a dynamic user directory service, called the User Location Service (ULS).
The ActiveX Conferencing platform is the core of Microsoft’s multimedia Internet communication strategy. The platform consists of high- and low-level application programming interfaces (APIs), ActiveX Controls, the ULS and standards-based communications components. By supporting the T.120 and H.323 standards-based components, Microsoft is ensuring interoperability with its ActiveX Conferencing platform; in turn, software and hardware vendors can benefit by easily adding features and value to their products.
“We were pleased to see the level of support that Microsoft articulated for utilizing the H.323 standard to connect people over the Internet through their architecture at Microsoft’s ActiveX Conferencing design preview,”
said Joseph Kwok, director of software engineering, Acer Advanced Labs Inc.
“Support for open international standards is enabling the market to grow at a rapid pace and will provide customers with interoperable solutions for audio, data and video conferencing.”
Strong Industry Support
Over 75 key industry players attended the design preview, demonstrating broad industry support for the ActiveX Conferencing platform and the ITU and IETF standards and specifications. These companies represented products in the Internet communications, video conferencing, directory, hardware and systems markets.
“This strong show of support for the ActiveX Conferencing platform from these varied markets shows that the Internet conferencing world is coalescing around the H.323 standard as the way to call someone on the Internet,”
said John Ludwig, vice president of the Internet platform and tools division at Microsoft.
The goal of the design preview was to educate key players in the Internet and conferencing markets, from webmasters to service providers, on how to make optimal use of the ActiveX Conferencing platform and NetMeeting. NetMeeting is a rich multimedia communications application for data conferencing that combines the functionality of multipoint Internet telephony, data conferencing, file transfer, chat and application sharing. Through the ActiveX Conferencing platform, industry vendors can use NetMeeting to establish data connections between users and then add additional services. Providing a set of common APIs and enabling communication solutions with ActiveX Controls makes using and customizing Microsoft NetMeeting easier.
“Broad support for the H.323 standard will allow communication solutions to interoperate across multiple platforms,”
said Alan Lefkof, president and CEO of Farallon Communications Inc.
“As a leading cross-platform Internet collaboration solution provider, Farallon is pleased to participate in this joint industry effort around the Microsoft ActiveX Conferencing platform and its design preview to help make this a reality.”
“Providing support for the H.323 standard will allow communication solutions from different companies to interoperate at a level that users are familiar with when using a telephone,”
said Dr. Elon Ganor, CEO of VocalTec Inc.
“Microsoft is taking the right steps to provide a platform that will enable our business to extend its reach.”
The attendees of the ActiveX Conferencing design preview included these leading industry vendors:
Acer Advanced Labs Inc.
ConferTech International Inc.
Creative Labs Inc.
Eicon Technology Inc.
Farallon Communications Inc.
GPT Business Systems
Latitude Communications Inc.
Lernout & Hauspie
OnLive! Technologies Inc.
Precept Software Inc.
Telescape Communications Inc.
VIVO Software Inc.
The VON Coalition
Wall Data Inc.
White Pine Software Inc.
Winbound Systems Lab.
A prerelease version of the ActiveX Conferencing software development kit (SDK) is now available from the Microsoft Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/netmeeting/sdk/ for no charge, and a beta version of Microsoft NetMeeting is available from the Microsoft Internet Explorer Web site at http://microsoft.com/ie/ , also at no charge.
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