REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 9, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that the second beta version of Microsoft® NetMeeting
™conferencing software, the real-time communications platform of choice for the Internet and corporate intranets, features support for video conferencing based on the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) H.323 standard. NetMeeting version 2.0 beta 2 is now available for immediate download over the Internet for use with the Windows® 95 operating system and the Windows NT® operating system version 4.0. By delivering the video phone component, NetMeeting 2.0 is now the first real-time communications client for the Internet to integrate standards-based audio, data and video conferencing capabilities, making it the most complete and easy-to-use Internet communication tool for end users and organizations.
“The global connectivity of the Internet is enabling rich, real-time communications that were never possible before,”
said John Ludwig, vice president, Internet platform and tools division at Microsoft.
“With the integration of Internet video phone support in NetMeeting 2.0, Microsoft is enabling family and friends around the world to stay in touch over the Internet, and for organizations to communicate more effectively over corporate intranets.”
Providing Standards-Based Communications Solutions
By delivering a standards-based video component as part of the NetMeeting platform, Microsoft is delivering a complete communication solution for customers in the home and office. When in-person communications are not possible, and the telephone alone isn’t effective enough, NetMeeting enables customers to keep in touch with family, friends and business associates through a rich, interpersonal, face-to-face dialogue via the Internet.
Developed in conjunction with Intel Corp., the video in NetMeeting 2.0 is compliant with the ITU H.323 audio and video conferencing standard, providing broad interoperability with other H.323-compatible products and services, including the Intel Internet Video Phone. The H.323 video standard offers high-quality, interoperable video and audio capabilities, available to every desktop and every home with Internet connectivity. These capabilities are possible through a modem or over a direct network connection.
“Compaq portables bring customers the ultimate flexibility for taking their offices on the road,”
said Ted Clark, vice president of marketing for Compaq Computer Corp.’s portable PC division.
“We are pleased to see that Microsoft is furthering its real-time Internet communications efforts by integrating Internet video phone support in the latest beta release of NetMeeting 2.0. This new software will provide business users with access to co-workers and information through standards-based audio, data and video conferencing over the Internet or enterprise intranets.”
NetMeeting 2.0 beta 2 also adds support for the Internet Engineering Task Force lightweight directory access protocol (LDAP) standard and proposed dynamic IP directory extensions, furthering the level of standards support offered by NetMeeting. NetMeeting uses LDAP for performing directory queries and communicating with compatible directory servers such as the Microsoft Internet Locator Server (formerly known as the User Location Service).
New Communication Options for Customers With Different Needs
“At SPRYNET, we pride ourselves on providing the best service, support, education and latest Internet technology for our members,”
said Craig McCallum, vice president, general manager for the Internet division at CompuServe Inc.
“The standards-based Internet video phone support in NetMeeting 2.0 will bring the latest in real-time communications technology to our SPRYNET members, enabling them to communicate with each other over the Internet with the familiarity of a friendly face and the ease of a telephone call.”
With the release of NetMeeting 2.0 beta 2, video, audio and data conferencing together give customers with varying needs and resources rich communication options. For the corporate user, NetMeeting enables organizations to increase effectiveness of remote communication by bringing co-workers or clients face-to-face over network connections. For the home, NetMeeting allows users to keep in touch with family and friends in a more personalized and immediate environment.
NetMeeting 2.0 Resource Kit Aids Organizations
As a companion resource guide for NetMeeting 2.0, Microsoft has released the beta version of the NetMeeting 2.0 Resource Kit. The kit is designed to serve as the one-stop technical information resource helping organizations with deploying, supporting and understanding NetMeeting. The kit provides useful information for system administrators, IS organizations and solution providers. It covers information including configuring firewalls to work with NetMeeting, and describes use of system policy features of Windows 95 and
Windows NT 4.0 to help make it easy for IS managers to administer and control features of NetMeeting. The beta version of the NetMeeting Resource Kit can be found on the Microsoft NetMeeting Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/netmeeting/ and can be downloaded free of charge (other than connect-time charges, if any).
The Beta 2 version of Microsoft NetMeeting 2.0 is now available for the Windows 95 and Windows NT operating systems. Microsoft NetMeeting 1.0 and beta versions of 2.0 are available today for no-charge download at http://www.microsoft.com/netmeeting/ . In the coming weeks, NetMeeting 2.0 beta 2 is scheduled to be available for both Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 in many international language versions, including simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, German, Japanese and Korean. The following additional languages are expected to be available for the Windows 95 beta version only: Brazilian, Italian, French and Spanish. The final version of NetMeeting 2.0 is expected to include support for more than 27 international language versions, facilitating worldwide communication and collaboration over the Internet.
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