REDMOND, Wash., and BURLINGAME, Calif., Feb. 2, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq
), Matsushita Electric Industrial Company Ltd. (Panasonic, NYSE
), SanDisk Corp. (Nasdaq
“SNDK” ) and Toshiba Corp. today announced that the new SD Memory Card specification includes support for the Microsoft® Windows Media TM Format. This new memory card, the size of a postage stamp, is designed to store secure digital media content, including digital music, on portable music devices.
The SD Memory Card will have initially up to 64 MB of memory and store more than two hours of Window Media-formatted digital music. The new SD Memory Card will also provide both a high-density memory capacity and Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI)-compliant copyright protection. In addition to supporting the Windows Media Format, the SD Memory Card copy protection (CPRM*) can be accessed via the Windows Media Device Manager, which is designed to provide secure transfer of digital media between Windows® operating system-based PCs, portable devices and portable memory.
In August 1999, Matsushita Electric, SanDisk and Toshiba announced an agreement to jointly develop, specify and widely promote the SD Memory Card. In January 2000, the three companies announced the formation of the SD Association (SDA) to set industry standards for the card and promote its wide acceptance in digital applications. The SDA Association is holding its first general meeting in Burlingame, Calif., Feb. 1 and 2, with over 200 industry representatives, including content providers, card manufacturers and consumer electronics companies.
Speaking for the SDA and the three companies, Eli Harari, president and CEO of SanDisk, said,
“The Windows Media Format has rapidly gained momentum among consumers, portable device manufacturers and record labels because it allows customers to effectively double the amount of secure CD-quality music they can store in memory. To assure a broad base of customer adoption of the SD Memory Card, it was very important to have native support for Windows Media Format in our SD Memory Card specification.”
Microsoft announced support for the SD Memory Card format today as a key new innovation for the industry. Using Windows Media-formatted digital music, consumers with SD Memory Cards will be able to store twice as much CD-quality music as with MP3 in the same memory size. In addition, support for Windows Media on SD Memory Cards ensures the secure transfer of digital music using accepted digital rights management technology. The SD Memory Cards, which provide both a high level of copyright protection and high-density memory capacity, will herald a new generation of portable memory and device designs in small form factors for consumers.
“The new SD Memory Card format will be a key catalyst for the consumer adoption of portable music devices over the next two years,”
said Will Poole, general manager, Digital Media Division, Microsoft.
“Consumers want to take their digital music everywhere, and Windows Media, as part of the new SD Memory Card format, is a critical industry innovation that will maximize the amount of music storage space without increasing the size of consumer music devices.”
Production of the new SD Memory Card is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2000. Production shipments are expected to commence in the second quarter of 2000. The card will initially be available in 32MB and 64MB capacities. It is expected that application products that use the new card will be available in the first half of this year.
About Windows Media
Windows Media is the leading digital media platform worldwide, providing consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations with unmatched audio and video quality. Windows Media Technologies, which includes Windows Media Player, Windows Media Services, Windows Media Tools and the Windows Media SDK, is available for free** download at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/ . The Windows Media Player, available in 24 languages, is the fastest growing media player. More than 50 million copies have been downloaded to date – growing by more than one every second.
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.
* CPRM: Content Protection for Recordable Media, developed by IBM Corp., Intel Corp., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. and Toshiba Corp.
** Connect-time charges may apply.
Microsoft, Windows Media and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries/regions.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
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