Next-Generation Video Production Tools Target Windows NT and DirectX

LAS VEGAS, April 7, 1997 — Signifying a major industry transition to the Microsoft® Windows® operating system as the emerging platform for media creation, Microsoft Corp. today announced that leading video and authoring tools companies have announced their support to establish DirectX
™
media as the next-generation multimedia content creation and playback architecture. The combination of industrywide support with new enhancements to DirectX media, expected to ship in the summer of 1997, will provide significant benefits to the digital video production process.

“As creative professionals continue to move toward desktop technology in the video production process, Microsoft is committed to providing the very best enabling-software technology and hardware platforms to our digital media solution partners,” said John Ludwig, vice president of the Internet client and collaboration division at Microsoft. “With the collaboration of leading industry developers, we can deliver a rich set of services to enable integration and playback of dynamic multimedia content.”

DirectX media is the media services component of the Microsoft DirectX set of APIs. Key elements of DirectX media include capture, cut-list support, audio and video effects, and codec technology as well as high-performance playback. By providing key enhancements and incorporating emerging standards such as DV, MJPEG, MPEG-2, AC3 and Java
™
, the
Windows NT® operating system and DirectX are well positioned to become the premier platform for digital media production and editing.

“Next year, with the enhancements made to DirectX media and a focused developer migration program, it is our goal to move tool vendors over to the Windows platform and DirectX media,” said Cristiano Pierry, group program manager, DirectX media at Microsoft. “Bottom line, our goal is to provide best-of-class multimedia technology for developers using Windows, and the endorsements from leading vendors demonstrate that we’re well under way.”

DirectX Media Integrates ActiveMovie for Video Production and Delivery

Microsoft has integrated all its multimedia system services into one unified API set called DirectX, composed of two integrated layers. DirectX foundation is the low-level service to directly access hardware acceleration. DirectX media provides the high-level APIs for advanced services for media integration, animation and streaming of 2-D, 3-D, video and audio. The video tool production services formerly known as the ActiveMovie
™
API have been incorporated into DirectX as the capture and stream components of DirectX media. As a result of this integration, video professionals can synchronize, composite and animate workstation-class 3-D objects with other media types such as effects, video, audio and music. The combination of the Windows platform and the new DirectX services will provide digital media professionals a new genre of software applications, hardware and devices for content creation targeting the desktop, broadcast and Internet delivery.

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

Java is a trademark of Sun Microsystems Inc.

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 http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

Developers Praise DirectX Media

April 1997

“The professional audio industry has been limited by the lack of an open standard for streaming and processing audio on the PC. With DirectX, consumers can now get off-the-shelf DirectX compatible products and be assured that they will integrate effortlessly with Cakewalk Pro Audio 6.0.”

– Chris Rice

Director of Marketing

Cakewalk Music Software

“We use DirectX media as the MPEG playback engine for our Broadway video creation product. The Microsoft media architecture allows us to call up DirectX media through the application seamlessly. DirectX media filter graph architecture and integration with DirectX foundation make it the highest quality and most flexible MPEG playback facility available. We are very pleased with the results, and our customers are thrilled to have MPEG playback included with the Broadway product.”

– David Ross

Director of Product Marketing

Data Translation Inc.

“DirectX media will set a worldwide standard as a leading professional video application programming interface, and Duck is proud to provide the codec that will help enable the transmission and playback of high-performance, high-quality multimedia content. This is a marriage of the two top technologies of its kind aimed at unlocking the potential of multimedia presentation.”

– Stan Marder

CEO

The Duck Corp.

“DirectX media is a more efficient and flexible environment for playing back high-quality video on PCs than previously possible. DirectX media allows us to add more functionality to ESCAPE VIDEOSTUDIO’s product offering, introducing greater freedom to the creative process.”

– Jeremy Baldwin

Marketing Manager

Eidos Technologies Ltd.

“DirectX media is a core component of our V-Active authoring platform in that it enables multimedia developers to highlight interactive video content with run-time marking filters. DirectX media’s new high-level APIs will further these capabilities by enabling developers to take advantage of streaming technology and the power of the Web as a medium for delivering fully interactive video content.”

– Avner Peleg

President and CEO

Ephyx Technologies Ltd.

“We are working jointly with Microsoft to provide DirectX media support in Macromedia Final Cut. Together we plan to create a file exporter that will allow end users to interchange and view dynamic video/movie regardless of the hardware or software installed on their systems.”

– Tim Myers

Director of Video and Audio Products

Macromedia Inc.

“As the API for our DigiSuite digital media hardware platform, DirectX media provides a completely integrated set of high-performance services to synchronize all the media types – audio, video, 3-D graphics and effects – that are important to video production professionals.”

– Alain Legault

Vice President of Product Development

Matrox Video Products Group

“MGI VideoWave with Microsoft DirectX media technologies offers a compelling solution to create and play video on desktops and the Internet. We provide unprecedented ease of use and flexibility to produce videos, while Microsoft makes it quick and easy for users to download and view these movies.”

– Anthony DeCristofaro

President and CEO

MGI Software Corp.

“Building multiuser virtual reality software that runs well on today’s desktop systems requires using the most innovative technology available. DirectX media is one of many Microsoft technologies we employ to deliver the best Web entertainment products to market in the shortest time frame possible.”

– Kjartan Emilsson

Chief Technology Officer

OZ Interactive Inc.

“Pinnacle is proud to provide the first real-time 3-D digital video effects card with DirectX media filters. With DirectX media-based nonlinear editing applications, including those from Softimage and JVC, the Genie card easily streams A/V data with open systems dual codecs with the DirectX media ‘installable clock’ synchronization model.”

– Ajay Chopra

Chairman

Pinnacle Systems Inc.

“Fast, smooth performance has become Scala’s hallmark. DirectX really makes a difference. The enhanced playback you find in Scala MM200 would not have been possible without it. With Scala’s award-winning user interface, importing any kind of digital media is a snap. AVI, QuickTime and MPEG files all play back seamlessly with the Microsoft DirectX media engine.”

– Jeffrey Porter

Vice President of Engineering

Scala Inc.

“Rapid convergence of consumer and computer technologies, our leadership in MPEG-2 and our new 3D Multimedia Accelerator RIVA 128, combined with Microsoft’s DirectX media, will rapidly enable cost-effective no-compromise Living Room platforms in the industry.”

– Andrea Cuomo

Vice President of Corporate Strategic Marketing and Key Accounts

SGS-Thomson Microelectronics Inc.

“With DirectX media streaming services, we see the barriers of streaming over the Internet being rapidly eliminated. We see the ability to stream media becoming more of a reality, and therefore, we see a simultaneous delivery of not only broadcast messages over traditional medias such as cable TV, but also simultaneously delivering that same message over the Internet. This will open up a wealth of resources for general users simply because now they have an alternative method in which to retrieve that information.”

– Rimas Buinevicius

CEO

Sonic Foundry Inc.

“Microsoft is doing a lot to make it easy for Internet users to take advantage of some of the most interesting content on the Web. Because we developed a VDOLive player using DirectX media, consumers will be able to see video content on the Net easily without having to do anything but fire up their Internet browser. We view this as a great step forward in the integration of video streaming with the Windows operating system.”

– Oren Ariel

Chief Technology Officer

VDOnet Corp.

“As providers of high-quality streaming video solutions, we at Vxtreme are excited about the DirectX media framework. We are developing a version of our streaming video client that is an DirectX media filter, and expect it to ship shortly. The development process itself has been straightforward – Microsoft clearly designed it with ISVs in mind.”

– Jamie Rapperport

Vice President of Sales

Vxtreme Inc.

Companies Supporting DirectX media

1.3DFX Interactive

2.Adobe Systems Inc.

3.Asymetrix Corp.

4.Avid Technologies Inc.

5.Brooktree Corp.

6.C-Cube Microsystems

7.Cakewalk Music Software

8.Chyron Corp.

9.Cirrus Logic Inc.

10.D-Vision Systems

11.Data Translation Inc.

12.Diamond Multimedia Systems Inc.

13.The Duck Corp.13.

14.Eidos Technologies Ltd.

15.Ephyx Technologies Ltd.

16.Intergraph Computer Systems

17.Kinetix
™

18.Liquid Audio Inc.

19.Macromedia Inc.

20.Matrox Video Products Group

21.Mediamatics Inc.

22.Matsushita Electric Industrial

24.MGI Software Corp.

25.Narrative Communications Corp.

26.NewFire, Inc.

27.NVIDIA Corp.

28.Oak Technology

29.OZ Interactive Inc.

30.Pinnacle Systems Inc.

31.Roland

32.S3 Inc.

33.Scala Inc.

34.SGS-Thomson Microelectronics Inc.

35.Sigma Designs Inc.

36.Sonic Foundry Inc.

37.Softimage Inc.

38.Starlight Networks Inc.

39.Steinberg

40.Trident Microsystems Inc.

41.Truevision

42.ULEAD Systems, Inc.

43.VDOnet Corp.

44.VocalTec Inc.

45.VOSAIC

46.Vxtreme Inc.

47.Waves Ltd.

48.White Pine Software Inc.

49.Zoran Corp./CompCore Multimedia

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