Microsoft Windows Media Technologies Gives Customers a Competitive Edge

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 17, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that an independent study from Ziff Davis Testing & Analysis Group (ZDTag) comparing the streaming solutions of Microsoft® Windows® Media Technologies 3.0 and RealNetworks Inc.’s G2 found that Windows Media Technologies leads in many critical areas, including features and usability, performance and scalability, and quality and security. For more information about the study, please see .

Customers deploying streaming media solutions need a high-performance platform that is highly scalable and can deliver a high-quality end-user experience at a wide range of data rates. ZDTag put the leading streaming media solutions to task and revealed that Windows Media Technologies is the platform that best delivers on these customer needs, making it the ideal choice for both Internet sites and corporate users.

“Our streaming media customers rely on Microsoft to deliver leading technology for their critical business and entertainment applications,”
said Anthony Bay, general manager of the commercial systems division at Microsoft.
“The independent analysis from ZDTag reaffirms what we are hearing from more and more customers: Windows Media Technologies is an outstanding platform for Internet and intranet streaming media solutions.”

Quicker and Easier Publishing and Encoding

The ZDTag analysis, commissioned by Microsoft, found that Windows Media Technologies offers greater ease of use and the best feature sets in the server and encoding components.

  • Robust server administrator. ZDTag analysis found the server administrator in Windows Media Technologies to be the most robust, with wizards for quick and easy publishing, the ability to simulate live broadcasts, a convenient mechanism that enables the highest scalability in preventing server and network saturation, and the most comprehensive set of tools for monitoring server activity.

  • Better overall feature set. The analysis found that the Windows Media Technologies encoder component has the best overall feature set due to its variety, the customization and usefulness of its editing and encoding features, and its inclusion of multiple standards-compliant video codecs, scalable image quality and image sizing that auto-adjusts for the target bandwidth.

  • More control in unicast and multicast environments. With more intuitive interfaces and richer feature sets, Windows Media Technologies provides more control in creating, broadcasting and providing secure client access to unicast and multicast environments.

Higher-Quality Audio, Smoother Video and Optimum Network Utilization

Encoder and streaming tests proved that Windows Media Technologies outperforms and delivers higher-quality media than RealNetworks’ G2 while better utilizing the network and server CPU.

  • Higher-quality audio and video. Windows Media Technologies prevailed in encoder quality, for video smoothness, because it delivers higher and steadier video frame rates, and in audio quality, because of its fuller overall sound.

  • Faster encoder performance and greater scalability. Windows Media Technologies had the greatest overall encoder performance with 70 percent scalability from one CPU to two. Intelligent streaming in Windows Media Technologies encoded faster than RealNetworks’ SureStream, and the ZDTag report observed that the Intelligent Streams in Windows Media Technologies scaled down with greater fidelity than the RealNetwork streams.

  • Optimum network and CPU utilization. Finally, Windows Media Technologies outperformed RealNetworks’ G2 in overall streaming with better network and CPU utilization for on-demand and live broadcasts over the Ethernet. By scaling and

placing lighter and steadier loads on the server CPU and network, Windows Media Technologies maximizes the number of simultaneous on-demand streams. In addition, it delivers live broadcasts with an optimal end-user experience across a range from low-bandwidth Internet to high-bandwidth enterprise and broadband applications (from 3 Kbps of audio to 3 Mbps of audio and video).

About Windows Media Technologies

Microsoft Windows Media Technologies, the fastest growing streaming media platform, includes the Windows Media Player, Windows NT® Server NetShow
Services and NetShow Theater Server. It provides corporate, education and Internet customers with a platform for developing richer business and entertainment solutions using streaming media. More information can be found at . Windows Media Player is available for free download at (connect-time charges may apply).

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) 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, Windows, NetShow and Windows NT 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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