NDS and Microsoft Announce Strategic Alliance To Extend Availability of Enhanced TV

LONDON and REDMOND, Wash., March 7, 2000 — NDS Group plc (Nasdaq/Easdaq
), a News Corporation (NYSE
) company, and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq
“MSFT” ) today announced a strategic alliance to extend the availability of Microsoft® TV-based enhanced television solutions for network operators worldwide, based on open standards. As part of this relationship, Microsoft announced a new component of the Microsoft TV platform targeted at the current generation of digital set-top boxes, which enables Microsoft to offer the most comprehensive enhanced TV platform solution available.

By licensing, integrating and jointly extending software from NDS to create a new member of the Microsoft TV product family, Microsoft will now offer a broad solution set for network operators delivering cable, satellite, terrestrial and multichannel multipoint distribution service (MMDS) solutions. NDS’ middleware is a proven, cost-effective, digital video broadcasting (DVB)-enhanced television solution already operating in over 1.5 million digital set-top boxes manufactured by several major consumer-electronics manufacturers. Under this agreement, Microsoft and NDS will jointly market digital solutions for network operators and will have an ongoing engineering relationship to evolve the joint solution and develop enhanced TV applications and services.

Microsoft and NDS are committed to enhancing the television experience that network operators can offer consumers to include support for consumer services such as digital programming, advanced television, electronic program guides, information channels,
e-commerce support, and interactive programming and advertising – all built on Internet-based standards.

“Microsoft’s adoption of NDS’ open system solution for enhanced television will be a major boost to the industry as it builds momentum throughout the world,”
said Abe Peled, president and CEO of NDS.
“The combined expertise and resources of two leaders in interactive technology enables consumers to experience the benefits of enhanced television more quickly, easily and enjoyably. Consumers will enjoy wider choice and convenience, and more engaging and entertaining interactive television programs. They will be able to easily access the most popular services and merchandise from the Internet at the click of a button on their remote.”

“The combination of NDS software with additional enhancements from Microsoft will provide an Internet-based solution for network operators that want to deliver enhanced TV services with their current-generation set-top boxes,”
said Phil Goldman, general manager of the TV Platform Group at Microsoft.
“Microsoft TV with NDS is a good complement to our advanced platform for development of the next-generation applications and services our customers are asking for.”

“Globo Cabo, the largest multiple system operator (MSO) in Brazil, with 1 million subscribers, is very excited about this announcement from Microsoft and NDS,”
said Moys
s Pluciennik, general manager and CEO at Globo Cabo SA.
“We are committed to deploying the standards-based Microsoft TV platform in both basic and advanced digital set-top boxes. Our goal is to provide new content and interactive services to enhance the cable TV customer experience. The Microsoft TV platform is the technology that will enable us to make it happen.”

NDS’ technology combined with the Microsoft TV client software, based on open DVB and Internet standards, is designed for the current generation of digital set-top boxes and provides a foundation for delivering additional enhanced TV services in the future. With Microsoft TV software, broadcasters and producers can easily build on the video programming and Internet expertise they already have to create enhanced, new consumer-content services and applications.

About the 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. Microsoft TV is the client software for a range of television appliances, from current-generation set-top boxes to advanced television devices. 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 interactive content authored according to the Advanced Television Enhancement Forum (ATVEF) standard.

About NDS

NDS Group plc is a leading supplier of open conditional access software and interactive systems for the secure delivery of entertainment and information to digital TVs, set-top boxes, personal computers and mobile devices. The company also develops e-security solutions for broadband Internet multicasting applications. NDS systems enable broadcasters, content providers and enterprises on the leading edge of the convergence of TV and the Internet to profit from digital TV and interactive services, including integrating and delivering Internet and TV content, data broadcasting and e-commerce transactions. A portfolio of services including consulting, systems design and integration, support and maintenance complements NDS’ systems and technologies.

NDS customers provide services to over 50 percent of the world’s digital satellite subscriber base, and more than 15 million viewers of pay television currently use NDS technologies. NDS, headquartered in the United Kingdom, has offices worldwide, employs over 1,000 people, and continues to make a major commitment to R & D with over 400 employees at research centers in Israel and the United Kingdom. More information can be found at http://www.nds.com/ . NDS’ largest shareholder is News Corp., a global media and entertainment company.

About Microsoft

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.

The statements contained in this release, which are not historical facts, may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements relate to the plans, projections or future performance of NDS, which involve certain risks and uncertainties, including risk of market acceptance, the effect of economic conditions, possible regulatory changes, technological developments, the impact of competitive pricing and the ability of NDS and its commercial partners to develop systems and solutions which meet the needs of the broadcasting industry in a timely and cost-efficient manner, as well as certain other risks and uncertainties which are detailed in NDS’ filings with the SEC.

This press release is provided for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS PRESS RELEASE.

Microsoft is a registered trademark 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.

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

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