REDMOND, Wash., May 6, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that over 200 attendees from top PC manufacturers, Internet access providers and Microsoft® Solution Providers, representing over 55 million PC users and over 15 million Internet and online service users, attended the industry’s first channel summit for “push” – one of the Internet’s most significant emerging technologies.
The Microsoft-sponsored summit, held last Thursday and Friday on the Microsoft Redmond campus, provided industry participants with the resources they need to jump-start development of compelling and customizable Web channels for end users. Participants learned how to take advantage of Microsoft’s open webcasting model, which enables publication of dynamic Internet content easily while reaching the broadest possible user base.
Industry participants included a who’s who among PC manufacturers and Internet access providers. PC manufacturers in attendance included Acer Inc., Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer Corp., Digital Equipment Corp., Fujitsu Microelectronics Inc., Gateway 2000, Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM PC Co., Micron Electronics Inc., Olivetti Personal Computers and Packard Bell-NEC. Top Internet access providers – including America Online Inc., AT & T WorldNet Service, CompuServe Inc., Concentric Network, MCI Telecommunications Inc., NETCOM On-Line Communication Services Inc., Prodigy and SPRYNET- also took part in the summit.
“Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 presents an exciting opportunity for Dell to further enhance its direct customer relationships over the Internet,” said Paul Bell, vice president at Dell. “Dell leads the PC industry in online commerce with sales of more than $1 million a day. Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 will help Dell extend this leadership position by enabling the company to send customized technical support and product information that meets the specific needs of our customers. Dell expects push technology to dramatically improve direct marketing capabilities over the Internet.”
“We’re constantly looking for ways to enhance our service and give people the tools to let them take more control of their Internet experience,” said Joe Ruszkiewicz, director of client product management at AT & T WorldNet Service. “By offering AT & T WorldNet users the choice of Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0, they will be able to tap into some significant capabilities, such as notification of updates on their favorite Web pages.”
The summit focused on both the technology and business needs of channel partners in the new push technology market. Technical sessions covered the following:
How to create channels and desktop components in Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0
How to use Dynamic HTML to create more compelling content
How third parties – including AirMedia Inc., BackWeb Technologies, FirstFloor Software and PCN – integrate their technology with Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0
Business-track sessions focused on the following:
Business considerations when developing a channel (e.g., target audience, type of content, resources required)
Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 Guidelines and Business Model – how OEMs and ISPs can customize Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 with their offerings
How channel partners get support from Microsoft
“The industry has been asking for an open standard for push that dramatically simplifies and personalizes the delivery of information to users’ desktops,” said Brad Chase, vice president, application and Internet client group at Microsoft. “It’s great to see that major OEM and Internet access providers are as excited as we are about these technologies and the new business opportunities they represent.”
Summit sessions also explained how Microsoft’s open webcasting model allows developers to easily webcast using Microsoft’s channel architecture. Microsoft Internet Explorer channels are unique in that they do the following:
Offer seamless desktop integration. Push content can be viewed directly on users’ desktops without the need for a separate window or application.
Offer the widest choice of technologies for designing and delivering compelling push content, including Dynamic HTML, Java and ActiveX
Take advantage of the channel definition format (CDF) for optimized content delivery.
The proposed CDF standard allows content providers and customers to optimize the delivery of channel information. CDF provides a description of what’s on the site, while providing mechanisms for grouping information logically, scheduling how often the content updates, and determining how to best deliver content to the user. Key benefits of CDF include these:
Any company or information provider can develop content to take advantage of CDF, any server can run CDF-enhanced Web sites, and any broadcast-enabled client software can access Web channels using CDF.
Developers can deliver information directly to the desktop without users having to learn or use any programming languages. CDF, an application of the extensible markup language (XML) work in progress at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), can be implemented without writing Java
CDF has been proposed to the W3C and is supported by almost 40 of the industry’s leading content providers, Web and Java authoring tools vendors, and push developers.
For detailed information on the variety of technologies that Microsoft is introducing to enable development of Internet applications and content, developers can download the Microsoft Internet Client Software Development Kit (SDK) from the Microsoft Site Builder Network at http://www.microsoft.com/sitebuilder/
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Companies Represented at the Microsoft Channel Summit
America Online Inc.
Arthur Andersen LLP
AT & T WorldNet Service
Cablevision Systems Corp.
Compaq Computer Corporation
Dell Computer Corp.
Digital Equipment Corp.
Ernst & Young LLP
Fujitsu Microelectronics Inc.
IBM PC Co.
MCI Telecommunications Inc.
Micron Electronics Inc.
NETCOM On-Line Communication Services Inc.
Olivetti Personal Computers
Time Warner Cable
US West Media Group