MSN Uses NetShow to Host World’s Largest Dial-Up Internet Multicast

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 25, 1996 — Working with Ascend Communications Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Intel Corp. and UUNET Technologies Inc., MSN
™, The Microsoft Network, completed the first large-scale IP multicast test on a commercial dial-up Internet online service. On Tuesday, Nov. 19, Microsoft Corp. broadcast Chairman and CEO Bill Gates’ keynote speech at COMDEX/Fall in Las Vegas using Microsoft® NetShow, the network multimedia software platform. More than 2,000 people in 19 U.S. cities
“tuned in”
to audio coverage on their PCs. This event represents the first major milestone in widespread deployment of technology that promises to revolutionize how content providers deliver information across the Internet.

Multicast is an advance in Internet technology that will enable MSN to deliver a new generation of live interactive
to a much larger number of subscribers than is possible using today’s unicast technology. Unicast requires the event host to allocate significant amounts of bandwidth and hardware to send individual audio streams to each participant from the source. In contrast, multicast sends a single stream of data that can be accessed by any number of Internet users provided they are on a multicast-enabled network. This test is the first wide-scale commercially viable IP multicast implementation.

“Using this technology, we see the path to allow our new content to reach the same number of Internet users as current-day television and radio audiences,”
said Bob Bejan, executive producer for The Microsoft Network.
“We believe this will be a significant milestone in growing the Internet into a true mass medium.”

“Using the NetShow IP multicast capability, the Internet service provider can save on bandwidth and infrastructure costs,”
said David Cole, vice president, consumer platforms division at Microsoft.
“We expect UUNET’s IP multicast deployment to promote the rapid deployment of this exciting technology.”

In bringing multicast to MSN, Microsoft is embracing a set of standards developed by the Internet community as well as building on the recently announced Microsoft NetShow platform for the delivery of live and on-demand audio and video content over the Internet. Also, this effort moves multicast research done by the MBONE community to the first commercial dial-up network. This test demonstrated that approved multimedia standards supported by many vendors benefit consumers and business alike. Key test components were the following:

  • Microsoft provided NetShow software, used to deliver live and on-demand multimedia over the Internet.

  • Users dialed into Ascend Communications MAX Terminal servers equipped for multicast distribution.

  • Cisco network equipment and Cisco IOS software provided the multicast intelligence to the Internet.

  • Intel’s real-time protocol (RTP) streaming software element was used for the efficient transfer of audio between server and client.

  • UUNET provided both the dial-up and backbone Internet infrastructure.

Efforts are under way to multicast-enable the entire UUNET network, the major access network of MSN, within the first quarter of 1997. MSN customers and others listened to the event through their PCs by connecting through multicast-enabled points of presence deployed in 19 U.S. cities.

“We are pleased to be at the forefront of a major technology change, one that will bring the Internet one step closer to widespread content deployment,”
said David Mayes, director of business development, Ascend Communications.
“We expect the rest of the ISP community to quickly realize the cost-saving potential offered by IP multicast and make strides in deploying it in the near future.”

“Cisco IOS software has delivered the key foundation for networked multimedia to corporate customers and Internet users over the last two years,”
said Stu Phillips, vice president of Cisco IOS Software Engineering.
“Cisco and Microsoft are leading industry efforts to help deploy multimedia capabilities to all users. This event should encourage customers to turn these services on in their network today.”

“By working with Microsoft and Cisco on networked multimedia, Intel is continuing to make access to live and exciting content delivered efficiently over the Internet a reality,”
said D. Craig Kinnie, director of Intel Architecture Labs.
“This trial underscores Intel’s pivotal role in delivering the software and hardware platform to improve users’ multimedia experience.”

“UUNET’s leadership role in completing the first commercially viable IP multicast test clearly demonstrates our ability to enable content providers to efficiently deliver great content to many people,”
said Alan Taffel, UUNET’s vice president of marketing and business development.
“Multicast is an example of just how quickly the set of commercially viable Internet applications is expanding.”

For more technical details on the event, please visit .
Other technology tests are slated from MSN in early 1997. For more information on the companies, products and technology involved in the IP multicast technology test, please visit the following Web sites: Microsoft Corp.

Ascend Communications Inc. (

Cisco Systems Inc. (

Intel Corp. (

UUNET Technologies Inc. (

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

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

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

For online information:

Information about this announcement is posted at .

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

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