Top Business Information Providers Rally to Support Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0

SAN FRANCISCO, May 21, 1997 — As part of a special “webcasting” panel presentation held today in San Francisco, Microsoft Corp. announced relationships with the top business content providers to develop Active Channels
™for Microsoft® Internet Explorer 4.0. Microsoft also detailed its vision for taking push technologies to the next level by providing both users and corporate IT managers “managed webcasting” (“managed push”) capabilities via Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0.

The world’s top information providers announced that they are developing Active Channels for Microsoft Internet Explorer. These channels include ConnectedHealth.Net’s CH.CAST; Desktop Data Corp.’s NewsEDGE; Dow Jones Markets’ Dow Jones Channel; Dun & Bradstreet’s Online channel; First Call Corp.’s First Call channel; Forbes Magazine’s Forbes.com; Fortune’s Fortune channel; Individual Inc.’s Newspage channel; MSNBC’s MSNBC channel; PointCast’s PointCast channel; Reed Elsevier’s five channels, including the Elsevier Science, LEXIS, NEXIS, Official Airline Guides and Variety channels; and The Wall Street Journal’s Interactive Edition channel. Active Channels are a feature of Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 that enables premium content authored with Dynamic HTML to be hosted directly on your desktop. With Active Channels, Microsoft goes beyond other push solutions. By using Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0’s open webcasting architecture, these companies will make managed delivery of personalized, up-to-date business information content to corporate desktops a reality.

“Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 provides users and IT managers alike the next generation in managed webcasting technology,” said Brad Chase, vice president, application and Internet client group at Microsoft. “The combination of the Microsoft Internet Explorer Administration Kit and premier content offerings from the leading business information providers provides an unmatched productive and managed solution for businesses.”

“We welcome Microsoft’s innovation and leadership in unifying push technologies for the benefit of companies like Toyota,” said Barbra Cooper, vice president at Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. “Microsoft’s efforts to create an open solution that provides timely, high-quality, business information from internal and external sources will add value to our business.”

Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 Delivers Managed Webcasting

The myriad push clients available today means users are forced to choose between proprietary push solutions that don’t interoperate. In addition, limited Web-crawling solutions don’t solve the key problems businesses face when implementing push technology. These problems include managing the flow of information to the desktop, optimizing push without requiring reauthoring of content, and delivering intranet applications in an open, standards-based way. The managed webcasting capabilities provided in Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 solve these problems with the following unique benefits:

  • A universal solution built on open standards. The webcasting technology in Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 uses existing protocols and standards, allowing any client, content and server to webcast any information with zero work required to re-author content or purchase special server software.

  • Unmatched optimization, personalization and management of push content. Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 supports the industry-backed standard proposed to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), channel definition format (CDF). CDF is an application of the extensible markup language (XML) in progress at the W3C. CDF allows optimized scheduling and efficient delivery of webcasted content and intranet applications, the wide choice of interoperable third-party products, personalization of delivered content, and structured content-indexing independent of the content format.

  • An extensible platform for third-party innovation. The webcasting architecture in Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 provides a means to unify the multiple push services and offers interoperability of clients, servers, tools and network protocols from different third-party vendors, including content providers, independent software developers and push technology vendors. Microsoft has teamed with leaders in the push technology arena, such as AirMedia Inc., BackWeb Technologies, FirstFloor Software and PointCast Network, to deliver the most robust webcasting solution.

New Internet Explorer Administration Kit Provides Webcasting Management for IS

Microsoft also announced plans for the upcoming release of the Microsoft Internet Explorer Administration Kit 4.0. The currently available (at no charge except for shipping and handling; connect-time charges may apply) Microsoft Internet Explorer Administration Kit 3.2 provides an easy way for corporate IS managers to customize and distribute Microsoft Internet Explorer to their users.

The upcoming Microsoft Internet Explorer Administration Kit 4.0 will offer support for managed webcasting technology by providing corporate IS managers with centralized control over the delivery of webcasting content. The Microsoft Internet Explorer Administration Kit 4.0 will allow corporate administrators to set up custom corporate Microsoft Internet Explorer channels and restrict channels that employees subscribe to, thus webcasting necessary information to users while limiting bandwidth usage on a corporate network.

Business Information Companies Announce Support for Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0

The following companies are joining Microsoft in providing channels for Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0:

  • ConnectedHealth.Net LLC. ConnectedHealth.Net’s first product, CH.CAST, is an interactive data casting service that delivers real-time health-care information to the desktop of industry professionals.
    Press contact: Tom Nobbe, (216) 623-1511, tnobbe@bsmg.com

  • Desktop Data Inc. The independent leader in enterprise delivery of real-time news and information will provide NewsEDGE for Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 users: the business news channel that embraces Microsoft’s Active Platform to deliver real-time news and information throughout the corporate intranet.
    Press contact: Laura Ramsey, (617) 229-3313, laura.ramsey@desktopdata.com

  • Dow Jones Channel. The Dow Jones channel offers investors a broad selection of timely mutual fund-related news, headlines and stories as reported by the Dow Jones newswires.
    Press contact: Brian Ek, (212) 416-3782, brian.ek@cor.dowjones.com

  • Dun & Bradstreet. The Companies OnLine channel will provide users with unprecedented access to information about 100,000 public and private companies in the United States. Information available will include topics such as changes in ratings and management, and mergers and acquisitions.
    Press contact: Sarah Garnsey, (508) 424-0400, sgarnsey@lycos.com

  • First Call Corp. First Call Corp., a division of Thomson Financial Services, is the premier source of real-time, commingled research, earnings estimates and corporate information serving the worldwide financial community.
    Press contact: Faye Ardshisheh, (617) 856-1158, fardshisheh@tfn.com

  • Forbes Inc. Forbes.com provides online editions of Forbes magazine, Forbes ASAP, Forbes FYI and the Gilder Technology Report, as well as the new Forbes Digital Tool. A comprehensive guide to business in the digital age, Forbes Digital Tool offers original reporting, noted guest columnists and an array of innovative databases, along with other tools for the business user.
    Press contact: Elizabeth Ames, (212) 630-2398, eames@forbes.com

  • Fortune. The Fortune channel will be a robust and highly interactive service featuring the magazine’s trademark, business, news and analysis.
    Press contact: Nancy Maloney, (212) 522-3842, nmaloney@pathfinder.com

  • Individual Inc. Individual Inc. offers users of Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 the ultimate in customizable, relevant business content through the NewsPage channel. NewsPage brings news from hundreds of the most trusted, authoritative business sources and allows Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 users to customize their own business news profile by selecting from NewsPage’s 2,500 Topic and Company choices.
    Press contact: Keith Watson, (617) 684-0770, kwatson@schwartz-pr.com

  • MSNBC. MSNBC, one of the world’s leading 24-hour Internet news services, will provide Microsoft Internet Explorer users with original, up-to-the-minute reporting, analysis and commentary in a compelling multimedia format. Offerings include national and international coverage, commerce, sports, weather, science and technology, lifestyle articles and local news.
    Press contact: Debby Fry Wilson, (206) 703-7059, debbyfry.wilson@msnbc

  • PointCast. PointCast will provide a rich, compelling business channel with premium up-to-the minute news and information tailored for professionals in the workplace.
    Press contact: Stephanie Gnibus, (408) 777-2381, sgnibus@pointcast.com

  • Reed Elsevier. Anglo-Dutch publisher Reed Elsevier plc will provide five Active Channels, including the following:

  • The NEXIS channel for business and financial news

  • The LEXIS channel for legal information and the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory

  • The Official Airline Guides, the most authoritative source of airline schedules and other travel information

  • The Elsevier Science channel for science and medical information from The Lancet and hundreds of other journals

  • The Variety magazine entertainment channel, just one of many entertainment news sources

Press contact: Judi Schultz, (937) 865-7466, judith.schultz@lexis-nexis.com

  • The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition. The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition, the largest paid subscriber publication on the Web, will offer a business news Active Channel featuring coverage of U.S. and worldwide business news prepared by a dedicated editorial staff in The Wall Street Journal’s New York newsroom.
    Press contact: Maggie Landis, (609) 520-4679, mlandis@wsj.dowjones.com

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

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

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