Microsoft Introduces Consumer Electronics-Plus Era at CES

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 5, 2000 — In a keynote address at CES 2000 International, Microsoft Corp. Chairman and CEO Bill Gates demonstrated a new era in consumer electronics that will give consumers personalized, convenient access to their favorite music, news, entertainment, family photos, personal calendars and e-mail through an array of consumer electronics including televisions, telephones, home and car stereos, and Pocket PCs, from almost any location.

“The year 2000 ushers in the ‘consumer electronics-plus’ era, a defining moment in computing when software will enable new services and new tools for consumers, simply and easily,”
Gates said.

For the first time, Gates said, people will access over the Internet their favorite music, books, videos, and friends and family from their homes, cars, offices, malls and even outdoors. People will be able to choose from any number of devices for access to television shows, electronic messages and videoconferencing, and for streamlining mundane household tasks.

Gates’ keynote builds on Microsoft’s vision for creating software and services that empower people any time, anywhere and from any device – a theme reinforced by Microsoft’s booth at CES, which depicts people using technology in their daily lives at home and on the road.

Gates also emphasized how access to core services is becoming increasingly available from a wider range of devices and vendors based on the broad standards efforts that Microsoft and its industry partners are supporting, including the core Internet standards, digital television standards, and home networking standards.

Gates grouped the areas in which people can experience clear benefits into information and communication, entertainment and home automation and security:

  • Better access to information and communication. Continuing on themes begun in previous CES keynotes, Gates showed how families can enjoy personalized access to e-mail, voice mail and the Internet from an ever-expanding range of devices, including televisions, PCs, Pocket PCs, cell phones, in-car and Internet devices such as MSN TM -based Web companions.

  • Personalized entertainment on myriad devices. Gates demonstrated how a family with disparate tastes can download a mix of music from the Web or their own CDs, creating separate playlists that can be played from any stereo in the home, and on personal players, Pocket PCs, computers and car stereos. He also showed how the family television is moving well beyond the one-way, passive channels that are currently available toward highly personalized and interactive television.

  • Home automation and security. Gates also showed how people could control their home environment for comfort and security, either from home or away from home. Working with Microsoft’s Digital Diva, the company’s new consumer ambassador, at the new Microsoft® Concept Home in Redmond, Wash., Gates showcased home security and integrated control of core functions such as lighting, music and temperature, as well as a single interface to manage all the home appliances and PCs.

Announcements at CES

Gates also touched on several news announcements that further support the company’s vision of computing made easier any time, anywhere and on any device. In support of consumers, and of the technology to improve consumers’ lives, the company did the following:

  • Announced additional features to the MSN-based Web Companion and previewed MSN Mobile Service 2.0, which will make MSN services accessible from Web-enabled cellular phones

  • Introduced the naming and vision for the next-generation Windows® CE operating system-based Palm-size PC, now called the Pocket PC, and announced that Microsoft Reader, Microsoft’s eBook technology, will be a featured application for the Pocket PC

  • Previewed announcements with llc and Barnes & Noble Inc. to support Microsoft Reader and to help enable broad distribution of eBooks content

  • Announced the Windows Media TM Player for Palm-size PCs and the Pocket PC, and highlighted recent statistics showing 900 percent growth for Windows Media in the first 10 months of 1999

  • Unveiled the Microsoft Concept Home at the company’s Redmond campus, designed to showcase the company’s vision of how software can improve people’s quality of life

  • Announced availability of version 2.0 of the Windows CE for Automotive solution for OEMs and manufacturers, along with a new industry partner and new naming

  • Introduced the Digital Diva, a consumer ambassador whose mission is to help consumers understand and feel comfortable with technology as well as to frame technology issues and trends clearly

  • Unveiled Philips Consumer Electronics Co. and Thomson Multimedia SA’s plans to expand their long-standing partnerships with WebTV Networks, Inc. and develop new Microsoft WebTV Network TM Personal TV products establishing WebTV Networks as a leader in personal television services

  • Announced the new IntelliMouse® optical ambidextrous pointing device, which offers the benefits of Microsoft’s innovative IntelliEye TM optical technology in a new shape comfortable to both left- and right-handed individuals

Separately at MacWorld today, Microsoft unveiled the Internet Explorer 5 browser software, Macintosh Edition, and announced a time line for products supporting Apple’s next operating system, OS X, including Office, Internet Explorer and the Outlook® Express messaging and collaboration client.

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.

Microsoft, MSN, Windows, Windows Media, WebTV Network, WebTV, IntelliMouse, IntelliEye and Outlook are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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