REDMOND, Wash., July 1, 1999 — WebTV Networks, Inc. and RealNetworks, Inc. today announced that RealNetworks will provide WebTV Networks with technologies enabling an upgrade of existing WebTV® products to support the latest RealNetworks RealAudio G2 format. In addition, RealNetworks agreed to develop a new RealPlayer G2 for the Windows® CE operating system platform, allowing WebTV to incorporate RealPlayer G2 support in its future products that connect to the WebTV Network TM service. Under this agreement, users of WebTV will be able to listen to next-generation RealAudio programming, which will greatly widen their listening choices and enhance their experience on the WebTV Network service. WebTV Networks intends to provide RealAudio G2 support to its subscribers via a service upgrade later this year.
“WebTV strives to provide great value to its subscribers, and RealAudio G2 is an important feature for them,” said Bruce Leak, president, WebTV Networks, Inc. “Our ongoing work with RealNetworks continues to allow us to deliver audio technology that makes the Internet experience even more interesting and compelling for our subscribers.”
“This agreement allows us to continue to provide innovative audio technologies such as RealSystem G2 to a TV-based Internet audience,” said Phil Barrett, senior vice president, Media Technologies, RealNetworks. “We are pleased that WebTV Networks’ growing user base will now be able to enjoy the widest range in Internet audio news, music and entertainment.”
The agreement announced today builds on the support offered by WebTV for earlier RealAudio formats. By adding support for the new RealAudio G2 CODECs in the existing WebTV RealPlayer, WebTV Networks, with help from RealNetworks Broadband Systems team, will fit the latest RealAudio G2 CODECs into the existing WebTV products.
RealNetworks, Inc. (Nasdaq “RNWK”), based in Seattle, is the recognized leader in the streaming media market. 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. RealNetworks can be found on the World Wide Web at www.real.com.
About WebTV Networks
WebTV Networks, Inc., the leading Internet TV service, operates the Microsoft® WebTV Network service and designs WebTV Internet Terminals and Receivers. The WebTV Network service is available in the United States, Canada and Japan and has more than 800,000 subscribers. WebTV Networks, Inc., based in Mountain View, Calif., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp.
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.
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