Broad Industry Support for Microsoft TV Platform Announced At Western Show

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 15, 1999 — Today at the Western Show (WCS), Microsoft Corp. announced that more than 40 leading hardware, software, service and solution providers are working to support the Microsoft® TV Platform. Top industry players outlined plans for building on the Microsoft client/server software solution for television as a means of enabling network operators to offer consumers an array of exciting new enhanced television services. Announcements included discussions with [email protected] to expand collaboration with Microsoft to accelerate the deployment of enhanced television services and a new TV chat feature for Microsoft TV provided by The Kiss Principle Inc.

Microsoft also outlined its content development tools strategy for the Microsoft TV Platform and plans to work with five leading broadcast tool providers — The Associated Press’ Electronic News Production System, Avid Technology Inc., Chyron Corp., Louth Corp., and Peak Broadcast Systems — to enhance their product lines to support the creation of interactive content on the Microsoft TV Platform. A dozen additional interactive development tool providers also indicated their intent to support the Microsoft TV Platform. As part of this overall strategy, on Dec. 14 Microsoft co-sponsored the AT & T/Microsoft TV Platform Developer Conference, which hosted several hundred of the industry’s leading content developers. The event was designed to educate the content development community about how to design and produce interactive television programs and about the tools and technologies available to integrate interactive programming into existing production processes.

“We are very excited by the broad support we’ve seen from across the industry in just the six months since we announced the Microsoft TV Platform,”
said Jon DeVaan, senior vice president, TV Service and Platform Business at Microsoft.
“We are committed to working with industry leaders to bring viewers the best television experience possible.”

Broad Industry Support

In addition to the more than 40 companies that announced support for the Microsoft TV Platform at June’s National Cable Trade Association (NCTA) show, several more companies, including Canon Inc., Digital Video Arts Ltd., Hewlett-Packard Co., Kencast Inc., The Kiss Principle*, nCUBE and Skystream Corp., have indicated their intent to develop products and services that complement and integrate with the platform. The diverse array of companies indicating support for the Microsoft TV Platform now includes supporters in the six key groups that deliver hardware and software applications and services for network operators: original equipment manufacturers (OEMs); solution providers; independent hardware vendors; independent software vendors; infrastructure and head-end systems vendors; and content, programming and services companies.

Four major network operators have announced plans to deploy the Microsoft TV Platform, with AT & T, Rogers Communications Inc. and United Pan-Europe Communications N.V. (UPC) all planning phased rollouts in showcase cities throughout 2000.

Eight industry companies also will join with Microsoft at WCS to demonstrate
“What TV Can Be”
at several booths, including the Microsoft booth 2311 in the south hall. These demonstrations include the first implementations of chat on television, AT & T’s* prototype navigational design for the television experience; media-on-demand by SeaChange International*, VH1.Com* and Intertainer Inc.*; set-top box hardware from General Instrument Corp.*, Philips Electronics*, Pace Micro Technology plc* and Broadcom Corp.*; an HDTV set-top box from ATI Technologies Inc.*; and various other demonstrations by iGS Technologies*, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., NDS*, STMicroelectronics*, Sigma Designs* and Texas Instruments (Libit)*.

Companies interested in registering to become a Microsoft TV Solution Provider should visit the Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/tv/ .

About Microsoft TV Platform

The Microsoft TV platform is a comprehensive software solution for the television industry that makes television more useful, fun and engaging for consumers and creates significant new economic opportunities for network operators and their suppliers of programming, hardware and software. The client software, Microsoft TV, operates a range of TV-centric appliances, from advanced set-top boxes to integrated televisions. Microsoft TV Server is a suite of software components that offers network operators the tools to provision, manage and operate a large-scale, commercial-grade enhanced TV service.

The Microsoft TV platform supports worldwide digital TV broadcast standards, including DVB, ATSC and ARIB. It also supports commonly used Internet standards such as HTML, JavaScript and Dynamic HTML, as well as all interactive content authored according to the Advanced Television Enhancement Forum (ATVEF) standard.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) 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.

*These companies are participating in Microsoft’s booth demonstrations.

Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

VH1 is a registered trademark of MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom Inc.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information about Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. If you are interested in viewing additional information specific to Microsoft TV strategy, please visit the Microsoft TV Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/tv/ .

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