Microsoft Announces New Technologies to Make Personal Computers More Interactive

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 9, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the early delivery of new technologies to make personal computers more interactive by integrating them with television. Building on the Simply Interactive PC (SIPC) initiatives announced in April 1996, these technologies consist of broadcast components that allow PCs to receive television programming, data services and new forms of entertainment blending the two, plus user interface elements appropriate for use on large-screen display devices, such as a large VGA monitor or television.

“Both the PC and the consumer electronics industries are predicting the evolution of home computers into home entertainment appliances,”
said Jim Allchin, senior vice president, personal and business systems group at Microsoft.
“These technologies will help our business partners to deliver on that vision by providing a common open platform for content creators, data services and network integration.”

These technologies will create new ways to experience television, such as the following:

  • By combining the PC, television and the Internet, content companies can create compelling interactive television programming.

  • By using broadcast technology to push multimedia-rich Internet content to consumers, broadcast networks can deliver and store data locally on the PC, reducing the Internet bandwidth bottleneck while improving the consumer’s overall experience.

  • By delivering new business models, such as subscription services for software, electronic periodicals, and news and entertainment delivery through a set of secure, billable and scalable data services

Microsoft also announced the introduction of new user interface elements for the Windows® operating system. These interfaces are designed for use with remote control devices and for controlling audio, video and other consumer electronics devices. Optimized for distance viewing and display on large-screen devices such as a VGA monitor or television, these components will improve the interactivity of the PC and appeal both to customers who use computers and to those who may never have used them before.

The convergence of consumer electronics and personal computing offers new revenue opportunities for participants and the chance to collaborate with companies from different industries to produce new products and services. Companies that have said they intend to develop technologies and services using these Microsoft® components span every industry involved in technology convergence. They include Adaptec Inc.; AST; ATI Technologies Inc.; Big Ticket Television (Spelling Entertainment); Brooktree Division of Rockwell Semiconductor Systems; Cirrus Logic Inc.; Compaq Computer Corp.; Comspan Communications; ComStream Corp.; CyberSource Corp.; DIRECTV; DIRECTV Japan; Fujitsu Ltd.; Galaxy Latin America; Gateway 2000; Glen Larson Entertainment Network; Gould Resources & Internet Telecommunications (GRIT); Guthy Renker; Hitachi Home Electronics (America) Inc.; Hitachi Ltd.; Hughes Network Systems Inc.; IBM Corp.; Matsushita Electric Industrial Company Ltd.; Micron Electronics; Ministry of Film; Mitsubishi Electric Corp.; MSN
™
, The Microsoft Network; NBC; NEC; News Digital Systems; Norpak Corp.; North Hall Productions; PerfecTV Corp.; Recovery Network; RYSHER Entertainment; Samsung Information Systems America; Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd.; Sci-Fi Channel; SGS-Thomson Microelectronics Inc.; Sharp Corp.; Sony Corp.; StarSight Telecast Inc.; Telesaurus Rex; Toshiba U.S.A.; Toshiba Corp.; Tseng Labs Inc.; TV Food Network; USA Network; VLSI Technology Inc.; WavePhore Inc.; and The Zalman King Co.

Availability

Microsoft intends to deliver initial development kits to key companies this February. For further information on these broadcast technologies and the development kits, please visit the Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/broadsvs.htm/.(this site will go live this week ) Products and services that support these technologies are expected to be available to the public by the end of 1997.

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, Windows and MSN 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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