OnNow Initiative Enabled With Full Complement of Specifications; Brings Industry Closer to Instantly Available PCs

SAN FRANCISCO, April 8, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that all of the specifications are now in place to build OnNow-enabled PCs. Industry leaders are already developing these products, many of which will be shown at the Windows® Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC 97). The OnNow power management initiative is supported by leading hardware vendors to develop PCs and peripherals that are instantly ready to operate at all times.

The availability of seven device-class specifications and three new bus power management specifications in support of OnNow makes it easier for hardware vendors to develop PCs and peripherals that are instantly available. The new specifications are publicly available for immediate use by hardware developers and can be downloaded from the Web at http://www.microsoft.com/hwdev/pcfuture/onnow1.htm. OnNow is a key technology enabling Microsoft’s Simply Interactive PC (SIPC) and Zero Administration for the Windows operating system initiatives, which offer full functionality with increased ease of use and flexibility for business and home users.

The seven OnNow device-class specifications join the advanced configuration and power interface (ACPI), PCI and universal serial bus (USB) power management specifications announced last year. The specifications cover audio, communications, displays, input devices, PC Cards, storage and networking. With ACPI and these specifications, manufacturers can produce peripherals as varied as stereo speakers, monitors, external drives and fax/modems that all turn themselves on and off as needed, lowering noise levels while saving time, wear and energy costs and offering full performance.

OnNow is specifically designed to benefit consumers and corporate users with PCs that turn on instantly like VCRs or TVs, without rebooting, and that boot and respond automatically to incoming faxes, voice mail and e-mail even when they appear to be turned off. Users won’t have to wait for the computer to boot because it never really turns off, and they save money in reduced energy use because the PC isn’t fully powered when idle.

Major companies supporting OnNow include Compaq Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel Corp., Phoenix Technologies Ltd. and Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. Industry leaders led the creation of the OnNow initiative last year as a result of requests from PC manufacturers for a systemwide approach to power management, from the motherboard to peripherals, operating systems and applications. Software applications and every hardware device can participate in power management, and OnNow delivers a standard way to implement power management across all PC platforms.

“SystemSoft is pleased to see the progress the industry is making delivering on the promise of OnNow,” said Jonathan Joseph, senior vice president of the platform product group at SystemSoft Corp. “SystemSoft’s MobilePRO BIOS and ACPI Firmware will be key components in enabling hardware vendors to implement OnNow, Simply Interactive PCs.”

“The OnNow initiative will help OEMs deliver power-saving PCs, and the Network Device Class specification will help ensure that corporate users reap the power savings while maintaining full network functionality,” said Bob Krueger, vice president for networking products at AMD. “We are thrilled to have worked side by side with Microsoft and a number of leading networking and PC OEMs to bring this specification to the industry.”

“With the ever-increasing need to reduce PC power consumption, OnNow power management initiatives are helping designers put the guidelines in place to support the vision of the Simply Interactive PC,” said Gerald Wineinger, director, PC systems strategic marketing at Texas Instruments Inc. “Texas Instruments’ close work with Microsoft and the rest of the industry on the PCI Bus power-management specification and ACPI is enabling us to offer customers early access to power-managed silicon from our PCIbus Solutions group. Texas Instruments fully supports the OnNow power management initiative and is committed to delivering power-managed devices to the PC industry.”

“OnNow is the foundation for uniform system and power management in computers across different manufacturers of desktop and notebook PCs,” said Arman Toorians, director, San Jose products development at Phoenix Technologies. “The OnNow initiative makes PCs much easier to use and provides systems with an important power control standard. Phoenix Technologies continues its full support of Microsoft’s standards and believes that, with the ACPI

specification at the heart of the OnNow initiative, systems will achieve maximum energy savings, increased ease of use and lower noise levels – making them more acceptable in home and entertainment environments.”

“Acer is actively working with Microsoft to ensure Acer customers are among the first to enjoy the benefits brought forth by the OnNow power management initiative,” said Paul Yeh at Acer. “With OnNow, award-winning products like the AcerNote Nuovo and AcerNote Light will be able to further strengthen Acer’s battery-life leadership position.”

This technology will be a feature in the next version of Windows 95, code-named “Memphis,” and the Microsoft® Windows NT® Workstation operating system version 5.0. Memphis is scheduled to be released for beta testing in the first half of 1997. Windows NT Workstation 5.0 is slated for beta release later in the year. Both operating systems are expected to incorporate the latest innovations in hardware and Internet technology, as well as enhancements that make them easier to use, faster, more reliable and more manageable.

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Microsoft and Hardware Community Announce OnNow Initiative…

OnNow PCs will turn on instantly like VCRs or TVs, without rebooting, and will respond automatically to incoming faxes, voice mail and e-mail even when they appear to be turned off. OnNow will be supported in future releases of the Microsoft Windows 95 and Windows NT operating systems.