Microsoft Leads Industry to Standardize on Formats for Internet Push Channels; Submits Channel Definition Format Specification to W3C

LOS ANGELES, March 12, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it has developed and submitted the industry’s first channel definition format (CDF) for push technology to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). CDF is an open and easily authored format for the publishing of Web-standard channels that will allow Web publishers to optimize the broadcast of their content to millions of Internet users.

Microsoft also announced that Microsoft® Internet Explorer 4.0 – which will automatically enable any Web site to be a Web broadcaster – will implement CDF, optimizing the delivery of push content to the millions of users of Microsoft Internet Explorer.

America Online (AOL), a lead endorser of CDF, simultaneously announced that its Driveway product will support CDF, enabling any Web publisher to use industry-standard HTML and the new open channel format to broadcast content to AOL’s 8 million members. The CDF submission has garnered broad support from content providers, ISVs and Internet solution providers. The compelling benefits CDF offers developers include these:

  • Open format. Any company can author content to take advantage of CDF, any server can run Web sites that are enhanced by CDF, and any broadcast-enabled client software can access channels available on Web sites using CDF.

  • Proven technology. Microsoft’s leadership in Internet client/server solutions and extensive work with leading Web content and technology developers will ensure that CDF will meet demanding market requirements.

  • Low cost. The CDF specification will save content development costs by allowing Web content developers easy access to a market of millions of compatible clients, using readily available software.

  • Use of compelling Internet technologies. CDF is extensible, enabling sites to publish channels utilizing any or all of simple HTML, Dynamic HTML, ActiveX
    technologies and other specialized broadcast technologies.

For Internet users, this means rich content broadcast seamlessly to their desktops. For Web publishers, the open and easily implemented content specification dramatically reduces costs and makes entry-level channel publishing possible with a standard Web server such as Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS).

In a separate release issued today, Microsoft announced that it has entered into strategic relationships with three Internet broadcast technology developers. AirMedia, BackWeb and FirstFloor Software will integrate their popular and innovative content delivery solutions with Microsoft Internet Explorer version 4.0.

“As the world’s most popular Internet online service and leading content developer, we are excited about working with Microsoft, the world’s leading software company, to support CDF,”
said David Gang, vice president, product marketing at AOL.
“This open standard is a critical Internet milestone, letting thousands of Web publishers broadcast their content to millions of Web users starting this summer.”

“Microsoft is committed to contributing to the standards effort in defining CDF, which brings industry leaders, innovative developers and content publishers together around a common Web broadcast specification,”
said Brad Chase, vice president of marketing for the Internet client and collaboration division at Microsoft.
“Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0’s implementation of CDF, Dynamic HTML and other standards will enable any Web site to become a broadcaster, delivering personalized and timely information directly to users. We expect these efforts to make the Web more useful and exciting to millions of users worldwide.”

“PointCast’s innovative and patent-pending technology will use and extend the proposed CDF specification,”
said Chris Hassett, president and CEO of PointCast Inc.
“Publishers adhering to the CDF standard will be able to reach the PointCast viewer base on the next-generation PointCast client and via PointCast’s channel on the Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 Active Desktop.”

Microsoft has already gathered strong support for its standards efforts, with more than 30 other vendors rallying behind the CDF specification. The following companies have reviewed the proposed CDF specification and endorse the Microsoft effort:

Developers of push client and server software:

Developers of HTML and Java


authoring tools:

Content developers:

Web system integrators / solution providers:

CDF will be easy for Web developers to adopt because it is based on XML, which has support among many third parties. XML has public domain software written in Java and other languages available now that can be used to parse CDF files. The CDF specification submission extends XML and Web Collections work that the W3C has in progress. These efforts will allow for open, HTML-based Web broadcasting based on standards-based technologies that are expected to have strong support among W3C members. Microsoft looks forward to other leading Web developers joining in support of this open standards effort.

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

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

Note: If you are interested in viewing the CDF Spec., please visit the Microsoft Web page at .

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