Microsoft and Progressive Networks Collaborate on Streaming Media

REDMOND, Wash., and SEATTLE, July 21, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. and Progressive Networks Inc. today announced an agreement that will help to define industry standards for the streaming media market and accelerate the growth of real-time audio and video on the Internet and corporate intranets. Microsoft will license Progressive Networks’ RealAudio® and RealVideo
™, and Progressive Networks plans aggressive support of fundamental Microsoft® technologies. As part of the agreement, Microsoft has also made a minority investment in Progressive Networks.

Microsoft and Progressive Networks have agreed to the following:

  • Microsoft will license RealAudio and RealVideo 4.0 technologies and trademarks for incorporation into its NetShow
    ™
    streaming server, which will become part of Microsoft Site Server, providing compatibility with the broadest array of existing content. Microsoft and Progressive Networks will ensure that clients and servers from either company will interoperate using RealAudio and RealVideo.

  • The companies will work cooperatively and with other industry partners to define future versions of Microsoft’s Active Streaming Format (ASF). Both companies will use ASF as the native streaming format for the next version of their streaming media product developments, in addition to supporting the existing Progressive Networks formats. Progressive Networks will use the Microsoft DirectShow and DirectDraw® APIs in the next versions of its Windows® operating systems-based clients, and plans aggressive support of Microsoft technologies. This will ensure that Web developers can use common file formats and client programming models.

  • Microsoft will include both the RealPlayer 4.0 and NetShow clients with Microsoft Internet Explorer. Microsoft will distribute Progressive Networks’ EasyStart RealAudio and RealVideo Server with NetShow 2.0 until Microsoft releases a product compatible with RealAudio and RealVideo.

  • Microsoft is making an investment with nonvoting minority interest in Progressive Networks.

“Microsoft believes streaming audio and video technology is and will continue to be a critical technology for providing rich information on the Internet and corporate intranets,”
said Paul Maritz, group vice president, platforms and applications at Microsoft.
“Progressive Networks has strong technology that we will be licensing, and we look forward to working together.”

“By agreeing to provide compatibility based on RealAudio and RealVideo, Progressive Networks and Microsoft will accelerate the availability of compelling audio and video content on the Internet. We have worked successfully with Microsoft in the past, and this agreement brings our relationship to a new level,”
said Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO of Progressive Networks.

Both companies will continue to enhance and market their streaming media products. Progressive Networks will continue to enhance and market its full line of products, including RealAudio and RealVideo, its professional product series and its enhanced RealPlayer 4.0 client.

Progressive Networks, based in Seattle, is the streaming media market leader. It develops and markets software products and services designed to enable users of personal computers and other consumer electronic devices to send and receive audio, video and other multimedia services using the Web. Currently, there are 20 million RealAudio players in distribution and 10 million to 12 million RealAudio and RealVideo players in regular use. Progressive Networks can be found on the Web at: (http://www.real.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, NetShow, DirectDraw and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

RealAudio is a registered trademark and RealVideo is a trademark of Progressive Networks Inc.

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

For more information, press only:

For Microsoft:

Helene Love, Waggener Edstrom, (425) 637-9097, helenel@wagged.com

For Progressive Networks:

Jay Wampold, (206) 674-2295, jaywampold@prognet.com

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. If you are interested in viewing additional information on Progressive Networks, please visit the Progressive Networks Web page at (http://www.real.com/) .

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