TCI Selects Microsoft Windows CE For 5 Million Digital Cable Set-Top Devices
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 10, 1998 — Tele-Communications Inc. (TCI) and Microsoft Corp. today announced that they have signed an agreement under which TCI will license a version of the Microsoft® Windows® CE operating system for a minimum of 5 million digital set-top boxes. This agreement gives TCI an operating system that enables high-quality video and sound, as well as new interactive video services. This version of Windows CE has been developed for the television environment, with integrated support for Internet content and technology from WebTV Networks Inc. Microsoft and TCI expect that Windows CE will be available for the advanced digital set-top devices that TCI will begin to deploy in late 1998 or early 1999.
“This deal positions the cable industry as leaders in developing and offering new interactive content and services,” said Dr. John C. Malone, chairman and CEO of TCI. “Microsoft will play a key role to help get us there. This deal represents a first big step toward a high-volume strategy. Our customers will soon enjoy high-quality pictures and sound, along with exciting new data services and programs.”
The nonexclusive deal is consistent with conditions and specifications currently outlined by CableLab’s OpenCable initiative. TCI may work with several software companies to deliver its enhanced digital cable television network.
“This agreement is beneficial for everyone: consumers, video and data content developers, Microsoft and TCI,” said Craig Mundie, senior vice president, consumer platforms
group at Microsoft. “This will jumpstart the development of new types of enhanced programs and services for television. Microsoft and TCI have been working for quite some time toward a vision for high-speed data networking and interactive video services. We look forward to the deployment of these new services to consumers.”
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