Microsoft and Audible Will Bring eBooks to Life With Audio Content for Microsoft Reader

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 7, 2000 — Today at the 2000 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Audible Inc. (Nasdaq
) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq
“MSFT” ) announced that Microsoft will integrate Audible’s playback capabilities into the Microsoft® Reader.

Audible is the leading provider of digital spoken audio for PCs and mobile devices. More than 20,000 hours of audio from TM will be available to Microsoft Reader customers. With the integration of Audible’s audio playback capabilities, Microsoft Reader will provide users with a single application that can be used to hear or read book titles in electronic form. Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates demonstrated this integrated text and audio capability at CES during his keynote address on Wednesday.

“We support Microsoft in its efforts to standardize and facilitate the use of digital audio playback in eBooks,”
said Donald Katz, chairman and founder of Audible.
“Microsoft Reader will not only give users access to thousands of hours of content from the store, it will also be exciting multifunctional software that can tap vast text libraries. This innovation represents the ultimate in digital spoken-audio and text flexibility.”

“Our work with Audible will bring a new dimension to the rich reading experience possible with eBooks,”
said Dick Brass, vice president of technology development at Microsoft.

With AudibleReady TM Microsoft Reader, people will have the option to listen to books as easily as they can read them.” features daily selected audio content from The Wall Street Journal, as well as daily digests of The New York Times, The San Jose Mercury News, The Los Angeles Times, The Economist Audio Digest, Forbes and Harvard Management Update. The site also features a vast collection of audio books from best-selling authors, including Stephen King, John Grisham, Robert Ludlum, Jon Krakauer, Scott Adams, Mary Higgins Clark, John Gray, Sidney Sheldon, James Redfield and James Patterson, plus on-demand radio programs, including Marketplace, Fresh Air and Car Talk. With over 20,000 hours of audio newspapers, magazines, books, speeches, lectures, and language learning, offers the broadest range of digital audio available in one source. Microsoft is an investor in Audible.

Microsoft Reader is a new software application for PCs and handheld devices that delivers an on-screen computer reading experience that, for the first time, approaches the quality of reading text on paper. Microsoft Reader is the first product to include ClearType TM display technology, a Microsoft innovation that greatly improves font resolution on LCD screens for users of the Windows® and Windows CE operating systems.

In addition to incorporating the latest ClearType technology, Microsoft Reader strictly adheres to the traditions and benefits of fine typography. It provides a clean, uncluttered display; ample margins; full justification; proper spacing, leading and kerning; and powerful tools for bookmarking, highlighting and annotation. Microsoft Reader also includes a dictionary, as well as a library that can store and manage a large collection of books and other documents.

About Audible Inc.

Audible is the Internet’s largest, most diverse provider of premium spoken-audio services for content download or playback on personal computers and AudibleReady mobile digital audio devices. Audible allows customers to take advantage of their commute, travel and desktop computer time by delivering premium entertainment and information audio while their eyes are busy but their minds are free. Audible’s content partners include leading audio book publishers, broadcasters, magazine and newspaper publishers, business information providers, and educational and cultural institutions. Visitors to can browse, sample, purchase and subscribe to more than 20,000 hours of audio programs. Among the company’s key business partners are Casio Inc., Compaq Computer Corp., S3/Diamond Multimedia Systems Inc., Microsoft, Royal Philips Electronics and RealNetworks Inc.

About Microsoft Corp.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft 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, ClearType and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

AudibleReady and are trademarks of Audible Inc.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the 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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