Microsoft Licenses Sound Canvas Sounds From Industry Leader Roland Corp.

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 22, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced its commitment to interactive music by licensing Roland Corp.’s Sound Canvas® sound set for inclusion in the new Microsoft Network, the DirectX
™APIs and Microsoft® Internet Explorer. The combination of Roland’s Sound Canvas instruments, GS extensions to General MIDI and the forthcoming Microsoft Synthesizer will result in unprecedented compatibility, flexibility and sound quality in interactive music applications.

By combining Roland’s superior sample set with our soon to be released ActiveMusic Control and DirectMusic
™API, we assure the user the highest quality audio experience on the PC,”
said John Ludwig, vice president of the Internet platform and tools division.
“Now we can enable content developers to leverage the power and flexibility of General MIDI with the customization features of Downloadable Sound Samples (DLS) on Microsoft Internet Explorer and the Windows® operating system.”

Recognizing that music is essential to a top-notch interactive entertainment experience, Microsoft has created a comprehensive interactive music solution consisting of intelligent musical accompaniment and software synthesis featuring the Roland sound set. Users can expect to see this technology appear in numerous Microsoft Internet and desktop products in the coming months, the first of which will be included on MSN
, The Microsoft Network.

“We are proud that Microsoft has chosen Roland’s Sound Canvas sound set for its music applications,”
said Ikutaro Kakaehashi, chairman and CEO of Roland Corp.
“We believe that the combination of Microsoft’s proven software expertise and Roland’s industry-leading GS Format will enhance the compatibility and expand the use of MIDI, as well as provide a vast improvement in the quality of interactive audio.”

Roland introduced the world’s first General MIDI-GS Format-compatible sound module in1991 with its SC-55 Sound Canvas. As a GS product, it supported Roland’s extensions to the General MIDI specification, giving MIDI users additional sounds and controls. Sound Canvas has since been recognized as the reference for General MIDI compatibility by the Interactive Audio Special Interest Group (IASIG) of the MIDI Manufacturers’ Association (MMA). The sounds Roland has licensed to Microsoft include the complete GS instrument collection supported by Microsoft Synthesizer.

Roland is a world leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of electronic musical instruments, professional audio equipment, multimedia products and musical accessories. Roland’s latest innovations include the GS-compatible PMA-5 Personal Music Assistant, a handheld music workstation.

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

Sound Canvas is a registered trademark of Roland Corp.

The Microsoft Network is operated by Microsoft Corp. on behalf of Microsoft Network LLC.

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