Microsoft Announces First Beta of NetShow 3.0

Microsoft Announces First Beta of NetShow 3.0

PALM SPRINGS, Calif., Jan. 26, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that it will release the first beta version of Microsoft® NetShow
3.0 this week. Beta code will be given to 3,000 attendees of the Microsoft Web Tech Ed conference in Palm Springs, Calif., and demonstrated at Internet Showcase’ 98 in San Diego. In a related news release, Microsoft also announced support for NetShow 3.0 networked multimedia software from over 40 leading industry content providers, solution providers and independent software vendors (ISVs), including Bloomberg LP, CNN Interactive, Fox News Online, Fox Sports Online, MSNBC, and Warner Bros. Online.

An increasing number of customers are using multimedia to deliver more compelling content. End users connect to the Web sites to view this content at a variety of data rates. Microsoft enhanced NetShow to provide the highest-quality streaming audio and video over the widest range of data rates.

“Customers have told us they need to integrate multimedia content into their business applications and Web-based content,” said Bob Muglia, vice president of server applications at Microsoft. “With the beta release of NetShow 3.0, Microsoft is delivering the highest-quality streaming audio and video and driving key standards such as the Advanced Streaming Format (ASF) for content providers and developers.”

A key enhancement in NetShow 3.0 is the integration with Microsoft Office, the Windows NT® Server operating system, the BackOffice® family and third-party applications. One benefit of this integration is that it enables media providers to combine these integrated technologies with their own expertise in content creation to build an Internet-based media business.

“Microsoft is enabling us to improve the way we deliver business video to our customers,” said Jonathan Fram, director of broadcasting and new media at Bloomberg. “The audio and video quality enhancements in NetShow 3.0, combined with integration with Site Server for commerce and ad insertion, will provide the best end-to-end multimedia solution for our needs.”

New Features in NetShow 3.0

NetShow 3.0 will provide the following benefits:

  • The highest-quality end-user experience. NetShow 3.0 will offer the industry’s widest range of bandwidth support, with the highest-quality audio and video at every bandwidth level. It will automatically optimize audio and video quality based on network conditions, and can handle over 1,200 clients at 28.8Kbps on a single Pentium II server.

  • Integration with BackOffice, Windows NT Server and Office. Integration with Microsoft Site Server will enable the use of powerful commerce (including pay-per-view and pay-per-minute services), advertisement insertion, usage analysis and personalization services. Integration with Windows NT Server security will safeguard access to multimedia content. Integration with the PowerPoint® presentation graphics program will enable easy creation of illustrated audio content from PowerPoint presentations.

  • The most comprehensive multimedia services. NetShow 3.0 will include the Windows Media Player, providing users with a single interface for accessing multiple local and network-streamed data types, including NetShow native Advanced Streaming Format, RealAudio and RealVideo, Windows® operating system audio and video, and QuickTime content. NetShow 3.0 will include a comprehensive set of tools for encoding and authoring streaming content. Codec auto-download will ensure that end users can view content regardless of the compression scheme used.

Theater Server

Releasing concurrently with the NetShow 3.0 beta software is Beta 3 of Theater Server, based on NetShow technology. Theater Server provides a high-performance, extremely scalable,

fault-tolerant system for delivery of broadcast-quality video on dedicated high-speed networks. Beta 2 of Theater Server is currently involved in a variety of corporate trials, including ITT Sheraton Hotels in Australia. Theater Server Beta 3 adds support for the Windows Media Player, improved support for hardware MPEG decode for higher-quality video, and integration with Windows NT Server security.

Beta Availability

Beta 1 of NetShow 3.0 and Beta 3 of Theater Server are limited beta releases that will be delivered to approximately 3,000 developers and customers for testing. A second, public beta release of NetShow 3.0 is planned for release within 60 days. Packaging of NetShow 3.0 and Theater Server will be announced when they are released later this year.

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, Windows NT, BackOffice, PowerPoint and Windows 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.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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