Microsoft Debuts Concept Home

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 6, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the debut of its new Microsoft® Home, located on the company’s Redmond, Wash., campus. The concept family home was designed to showcase the company’s vision of the role new software will play in improving people’s quality of life. The Microsoft Home brings together under one roof a broad range of technologies, products and services that work together to make home life easier and more enjoyable for all family members.

The Microsoft Home features real home environments, such as a kitchen, family room, home theater and den, in which typical daily scenarios are demonstrated. The home is an updated version of an earlier model razed during campus renovations and is situated in a larger facility with more flexible spaces designed for easy adaptation to changing scenarios and technologies. This dynamic prototype provides a glimpse of the way people will live, work and play at home in the near future. The Microsoft Home also enables Microsoft to collect input from consumers and industry-partner companies as they experience these future capabilities before they are commercially feasible to build and sell.

“The Microsoft Home highlights how people can benefit from the conveniences made possible by new technologies,”
said Craig Mundie, senior vice president of Consumer Strategy at Microsoft.
“It will be possible for people to save time and effort, be informed or entertained or communicate with others any time, anywhere, using any device. The home brings together software, services and devices, marrying the simplicity of consumer appliances and the power of PCs.”

The Microsoft Home Scenarios

The Microsoft Home exemplifies how personal and useful technologies can make daily life easier, safer, more convenient and more fun, using real-life scenarios based on typical family activities. For example, family members can let themselves in the front door without putting down their briefcase and or grocery bags. They can find out who is ringing the front door bell before walking over to answer it and who is on the phone before picking it up, helping to put an end to annoying unsolicited sales calls. In fact, the home allows its occupants to customize music playlists, control lighting levels or see who’s home from any room in the house.

Residents can enjoy entertainment of all kinds without having to operate complex equipment, and without even knowing where the entertainment is located. They can listen to their favorite music based on personalized playlists, from any room, in the car or on portable players. Residents can see all the sources of entertainment in one place, without having to switch from one device or provider to another, or they can watch TV according to their preferences, automatically tuning in to their favorite shows and channels on any set in the house. They can even use the latest digital photography to share pictures with family and friends, using a single remote.

People can send information to their car from inside the house, as well as find out what’s going on at home when they’re out, bridging the gap between the home and the rest of the world. They can easily juggle the scheduling logistics that exasperate today’s busy families by using the home’s technologies to stay in touch with school, sports teams and other communities – without phone tag.

Bringing It All Together

Controlled by an easy-to-navigate and secure home Web site, the Microsoft Home features a wide variety of currently available products, including desktop and laptop PCs, many consumer electronics components, digital and security cameras, cable TV set top boxes, Visteon and Microsoft Windows® CE for Autos, the Microsoft WebTV Network TM Service, Casio Pocket PC, Microsoft Jjoystick/Ssteering Wwheel game controls and IntelliMouse® Optical pointing devices, eBooks, Van Koevering digital piano, Sensar Iris Scanner, Microsoft Office and Sega Dreamcast, as well as many games and other applications.

The Microsoft Home also demonstrates new technology that Microsoft anticipates will become available in the early years of the new millennium, including home networking with inexpensive home control and voice input, remote access to home information and control, Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) devices, biometric identification for security and customization purposes, gesture-based computing, and the ability to share aggregated information across different sources such as family calendars and media schedules.

UPnP occupies a central role in Microsoft’s vision of simplifying consumer access to information, entertainment and communications throughout the home, office and everywhere in between. The UPnP home networking open standard will enable easy, straightforward connectivity and interoperability among technology devices used at home and on the road. In this way, plug-and-play principles will be adopted universally and all devices will function as peers on a home network. People will be able to enjoy the convenience and control made possible when relevant data is shared by PCs, printers, entertainment centers, game consoles, telephones, televisions, kitchen appliances, alarm systems and sprinklers.

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, Windows, WebTV Network and IntelliMouse 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.

For more information, press only:

James Yi, Waggener Edstrom, (408) 986-1140, [email protected]

Rapid Response Team, Waggener Edstrom, (503) 443-7000, [email protected]

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