Microsoft Launches Broadband Guide

SAN JOSE, Calif., Dec. 7, 1999 — Today at Streaming Media West ’99, Microsoft Corp. announced the launch of the Broadband Guide, the first comprehensive guide to broadband Windows Media content on the Web. The Broadband Guide offers one-stop access to the best news, sports and entertainment video available broadband subscribers in the United States today and includes a broadband referral service that simplifies the process of shopping for a high-speed connection.

The guide is available at . Visitors to the site can choose from a wide variety of high-quality content, including:

  • Music and videos from Cjazz,, Entertainment Boulevard Inc., Experience Music Project, HOB.COM, Hollywood and Vine, Launch Media, Ministry of Sound, Sony Music Entertainment’s Columbia Records, SOUNDSBIG.COM,, and

  • News from BBC, Bloomberg,, MSNBC, The Weather Channel and ZDNet

  • Sports from,, Quokka Sports and

  • Films from, Atom Films,, iLooks, Inside DVD,,, Net Movie Mania ( and

  • Entertainment from, digital entertainment network inc., fashion tv,,,, Pseudo Programs Inc.,, ValueVision Interactive/ and World Wrestling Federation

  • Radio from, Music Choice, Radio Free Virgin and WWW.COM

  • Travel from and

Coming soon is more great content from,,, iCAST, Intertainer,,, and Warner Music Group.

The Broadband Guide is an outgrowth of the Windows Media TM Broadband Jumpstart initiative, an industrywide effort to encourage the proliferation of broadband content available to consumers on the Web. It was designed to alleviate one of the key obstacles to consumer broadband adoption: the difficulty of finding broadband content scattered among the thousands of sites offering digital audio and visual content.

From the front page of the Broadband Guide consumers can easily access broadband content through an intuitive remote control interface. By using preset buttons or setting up their own favorite channels from the more than 60 content providers currently featured in the guide, consumers gain one-click access to live news broadcasts, music videos, sporting events, films, concerts and more. The Broadband Guide also offers a powerful search tool to locate other broadband content throughout the Web. For consumers interested in signing up for broadband access, the guide offers a list of broadband service providers throughout the United States.

“Consumer demand for streaming video has skyrocketed in the past year and will continue to grow exponentially well into the next century,”
said Dave Fester, director of marketing for Microsoft’s Streaming Media Division.
“Our Broadband Guide will help enable the next wave in the digital media revolution, as consumers discover the kind of high-quality news, movies, sports and other entertainment that only broadband can provide.”

Broadband technology, used in cable modems, digital subscriber lines (DSLs) and other high-speed connections, offers radically improved video quality compared to existing technologies and is poised to increase in popularity, fundamentally changing how people use and experience the Web. According to International Data Corp. (IDC), more than 2 million U.S. consumers use broadband connections to connect to the Web at home today, with millions more using high-speed connections at work and school. By 2003, IDC expects more than 20 million U.S. households will subscribe to a broadband service.

“The adoption of broadband is crucial for the continued development of digital distribution of music and video,”
said Mark Ghuneim, vice president, Online and Emerging Technologies, Columbia Records.
“We believe that by making it easy for end users to access both high-quality entertainment as well as information on obtaining broadband connections, the Jumpstart Initiative will speed the transition from narrowband to broadband.”

According to Media Metrix Inc., more than 3.3 million people currently visit each month, making it one of the largest guides to audio and video content on the Internet.* By comparison, RealGuide, the content guide component of RealNetworks Inc.’s Web site, attracts just 1.1 million unique visitors a month.

“Broadband is no longer a novelty; there’s a strong and growing consumer interest in high-quality online entertainment like the vast library of music videos and movie trailers we will offer though the Broadband Guide,”
said Adam Clampitt, vice president of business development at Entertainment Boulevard Inc.
“As a showcase for broadband content, the guide will make it easier for consumers to find our content, and it will help us reach discerning broadband consumers.”

About (, part of the MSN TM network of Internet services, is among the fastest-growing major audio and video guides on the Internet. provides access to localized audio and video content worldwide, including major music and video events and entertainment from more than 1,000 content providers.

About Windows Media Technologies

Microsoft® Windows Media Technologies is the leading digital media platform that provides consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations with unmatched audio and video quality. Windows Media Technologies 4, which includes Windows Media Player, Windows Media Services, Windows Media Tools and the Windows Media SDK, is available for free** download at . More than 50 million copies of the free** Windows Media Player have been downloaded to date — growing by more than one every second.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

*Audio/video content category is defined by Microsoft.

**Connect-time charges may apply.

Microsoft, Windows Media and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries/regions.

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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