Microsoft and SGS-Thomson to Deliver Hardware DVD Support To ActiveMovie 2.0

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 11, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. and SGS-Thomson Microelectronics Inc. today announced a strategic relationship to add hardware digital versatile disc (DVD) support to the Microsoft® ActiveMovie
™
API. This joint effort will develop a standard platform for DVD that optimizes cost, functionality and performance for PC users.

The SGS-Thomson reference design will take advantage of leading-edge technologies from both companies, including ActiveMovie 2.0, for playback of MPEG 2 video and high-quality audio, and a highly integrated single-chip DVD decoder engine from SGS-Thomson. The result will drive cost-effective hardware acceleration solutions for playback of DVD-based media.


Microsoft continues to accelerate the multimedia market by providing a powerful ActiveMovie platform for emerging DVD technology,”
said Brad Chase, vice president of marketing, Internet client and collaboration division at Microsoft.
“Our relationship with SGS-Thomson will result in advanced DVD development and unprecedented value for the end user.”

Andrea Cuomo, vice president of strategic marketing and key customers at SGS-Thomson, said,
“Our goal is to lower the barriers to entry for emerging multimedia technologies. This collaboration between multimedia hardware and software leaders will deliver a package that will kick-start DVD on the PC. It is another example of convergence between PCs and consumer electronics to create digital entertainment, which allows SGS-Thomson to capitalize on its traditional strengths.”

“ActiveMovie is the ideal platform for exposing digital video hardware to multimedia applications for playback,”
said Yash Singh, marketing manager of PC multimedia at SGS-Thomson.
“By providing significant performance and feature gains, we will enable content developers to make increasingly interactive titles for the consumer.”

Home computers with ActiveMovie 2.0 with hardware acceleration from SGS-Thomson will allow for playback of linear DVD streams and interactive MPEG 2-based games and titles without affecting the general performance or operation of PCs or networks.

A key advance in this ActiveMovie reference design is its exclusive ability to allow users to also view digital satellite TV transmission on PCs. This advancement will spawn new applications using broadband satellite transmissions, including access to multimedia services and Web content. The reference platform is scheduled to be available early next year, enabling manufacturers to offer high-performance, feature-rich products to end users during the second half of 1997.

SGS-Thomson Microelectronics is a global independent semiconductor company listed on the New York Stock Exchange and on the Bourse de Paris. It designs, develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of semiconductor integrated circuits (ICs) and discrete devices used in a wide variety of microelectronic applications, including telecommunication systems, computer systems, consumer products, automotive products and industrial automation and control systems.

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

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

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