Cisco, Intel and Microsoft Join Forces to Accelerate The Use of Networked Multimedia in Business

LOS ANGELES, March 12, 1997 — Cisco Systems Inc., Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp. today announced the Networked Multimedia Connection (NMC), a cooperative program to facilitate the widespread adoption of networked multimedia applications in businesses using intranets and the Internet. The NMC is dedicated to making it easier for developers to create applications such as interactive learning, rich information publishing and video conferencing and for businesses to deploy these applications starting later this year.

Through the NMC, the three companies will provide support and resources for multimedia applications developers and corporate IT managers, will collaborate on the development of networked multimedia technologies, and will implement and promote industry standards.

“This alliance signals that the networked computing age will be more about industry cooperation than industry fragmentation,” noted Don Listwin, senior vice president of market development at Cisco Systems. “We’re pleased to work with leaders in other parts of the industry to make business better for developers and life simpler for our end users.”

The three companies common vision to make networked multimedia a business-critical application stems from their belief that mixed media can provide people greater access to information, resources and each other. Networked multimedia extends computer communication beyond static text and graphics into a richer environment of dynamic sight and sound that models the way people communicate with each other in their everyday lives. Opportunities for businesses to increase effectiveness and save time and money abound in such areas as distance learning and desktop conferencing.

“For the last 18 months, Intel has been working with market leaders to bring networked multimedia applications to market,” said D. Craig Kinnie, vice president and general manager of the Internet and communications group at Intel. “The market’s interest and enthusiasm tell us the time is right to enable a broad range of vendors to build upon the rich multimedia capabilities of the Connected PC.”

“We believe that Cisco, Intel and Microsoft together can help make multimedia over intranets and the Internet business-critical technologies in 1997,” said David Cole, vice president in the Internet client and collaboration division at Microsoft. “As the centerpiece of our networked multimedia strategy, Microsoft® NetShow
™2.0 complements the breadth of Microsoft software platforms such as Windows NT® Server, Internet Information Server, Microsoft Internet Explorer and NetMeeting
. The unique strengths that each organization brings to the table provide an ideal combination that will make audio, video and other media invaluable components of everyday computer communication.”

Support for Developers and Corporate Customers

To speed the development of networked multimedia applications and their deployment in 1997, Cisco, Intel and Microsoft are working closely with ISVs, Internet service providers (ISPs), systems integrators and VARs, as well as corporate IT organizations that supply end users with computing solutions. The three companies will be offering the following:

  • The Networked Multimedia Lab.

    A complete end-to-end networked multimedia facility for development and interoperability testing, located at Cisco headquarters, is scheduled to open by the end of the month.

  • Toolkits. Comprehensive management tools and deployment services aimed at speeding adoption by IT will be available in conjunction with the lab. These NMC toolkits will include software development kits from the three companies, sample code, utilities and hyperlinks, and documentation.

  • Technical support. Technical consultations will be available to program participants from all three companies.

Support for Industry Standards

Cisco, Intel and Microsoft believe the establishment and adoption of networked multimedia standards are key to the success of their combined NMC effort. Together, the three companies are working to establish related technologies as standards with the IETF, ITU and other international bodies. Standards the three companies support include IP Multicast, a definition for sending one copy of information to many recipients over a network; the ITU H.323 standard, which defines how PCs can share audio and video data over computer networks; and the ReSource reserVation Protocol (RSVP), which provides a means for networks to support special quality of service applications. The three companies will work jointly within the standards process to develop and implement other open standards to make new networked multimedia applications possible and to overcome barriers to their deployment.

Delivering Leadership Technologies

The NMC collaboration recognizes and amplifies each companys essential contribution to the overall networked multimedia infrastructure. Those contributions include the following:

  • Networking products. Cisco networking hardware and CiscoIOS
    software delivering network services that enable multimedia applications

  • Intel architecture PCs and Internet technologies. Intel’s ProShare software implementation of key standards, including H.323, RSVP and Active RTP, which catalyzed networked multimedia development, plus Intels own products, Pentium and Pentium II processors, MMX technology and ProShare video conferencing

  • Latest software and platforms. Microsofts networked multimedia platforms, including NetShow 2.0 multimedia broadcast software, NetMeeting conferencing and collaboration software and Microsoft Internet Explorer, plus Windows NT Server, the Windows® 95 operating system and Internet Information Server

Broad Industry Support

More than 20 companies have demonstrated support for the NMC. These leading ISPs and ISVs participated in the first networked multimedia design seminar, sponsored by the NMC, on March 5 and 6. This first design seminar provided information on the objectives of the Networked Multimedia Connection and a host of resources to bring the networked multimedia community together.

For more information about the Networked Multimedia Lab and the joint activities of Cisco, Intel and Microsoft, readers can visit the Networked Multimedia Connection Web site at ( .

Cisco Systems, (NASDAQ “CSCO”) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. News and information are available at ( /.

Intel, the worlds largest chipmaker, is also a leading manufacturer of personal computer, networking and communications products. Through innovative technologies, Intel is committed to improving the Internet experience for PC consumers. Additional information is available at ( .

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, NetShow, Windows NT, NetMeeting and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

CiscoIOS is a trademark of Cisco Systems Inc.

Pentium is a registered trademark and ProShare and MMX are trademarks of Intel Corp.

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

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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