REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 1, 1999 — If this holiday season is like seasons past, many people will find new Windows-compatible software when they open their presents. Microsoft is getting in on the gift giving early this year with Play Pack — a companion CD-ROM that Microsoft is providing free with new retail versions of the Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition operating system.
Microsoft is billing the disc as the software equivalent of a home entertainment center. It includes digital music by Sarah McLachlan and Puff Daddy; computer games with 3-D graphics, immersive sound and multiplayer connectivity; money-saving offers on digital photography products and services; and a sweepstakes with more than 400 prizes. In addition, the Play Pack offers a month of free Internet access from MSN, and also allows people to create their own CD music albums by downloading and organizing music from the Internet.
Beginning today, the Play Pack CD-ROM comes with all retail versions of Windows 98 Second Edition.
“If you’re thinking of updating your current PC with Windows 98 Second Edition, the Play Pack is like rewarding yourself with a digital entertainment CD at the same time,”
said Shawn Sanford, group product manager in Microsoft’s Consumer Windows Division.
“And if you’re thinking of buying the software as a holiday gift for someone else, it’s like giving two gifts for the price of one.”
The Play Pack shows off and takes advantage of new digital media entertainment technologies — from Windows Media to the Universal Serial Bus and Internet Connection Sharing — that are highlights of the new Windows 98 Second Edition.
“Windows 98 Second Edition makes the PC more fun and easier to use for many of the things that consumers want to do most with their PCs, especially in digital entertainment”
“But you don’t need a manual to introduce yourself to these features. Just pop the Play Pack CD into your PC running Windows 98 Second Edition, and you’ll be able to experience the latest in digital media entertainment right away.”
The Play Pack CD features an array of offers and entertainment:
Music. People will find songs from Sara McLachlan, David Bowie, The Eurythmics, Brooks and Dunn and many other artists, recorded in Windows Media. Windows Media is an advance in digital audio technology, because it offers CD-quality sound from files that are half the size of those on MP3. This means that listeners get CD quality in half the download time of MP3 and can store twice as much music on their computer or portable device.
Games. The Play Pack CD includes demos and samples of 12 new action-oriented digital computer games as well as a link to the MSN Gaming Zone. These titles showcase the 3D graphics, immersive sound, multiplayer connectivity, and the ease of use of the Windows gaming platform.
Digital Photography. Rebates on the newest digital cameras from FujiFilm plus savings on convenient Kodak digital photo services are included. People who have been eager to try digital photography can shoot and edit their own digital images in time for the holidays.
MusicMatch Jukebox. People can create their own music libraries by mixing personal favorites from traditional CDs with songs downloaded from the Internet. MusicMatch enables consumers to organize and manage their music collection with ease.
Internet Access. Windows 98 Second Edition takes consumers closer to the networked home of the future with Internet Connection Sharing (ICS), which enables several people in a home to use a single Internet connection at the same time from their separate computers. To make this feature more cost-effective and convenient, the Play Pack CD includes an offer for 30 days of free Internet access via MSN, which also provides a great way to participate in the MSN Gaming Zone free of charge.
Sweepstakes. People also get the opportunity to enter the Amplify Your Play Sweepstakes, available on the Play Pack CD. More than 400 prizes will be awarded, including digital cameras, color printers and gift certificates for music CDs. Consumers can enter the sweepstakes online or by mail. Winners will be announced on the Microsoft Web site in February.
“With so many samples of exciting digital technology for consumers in the Play Pack CD, we hope we can help add to the fun of the holidays this year — and especially to the fun of using a Windows-based PC,”