Microsoft and Matsushita Have Co-Developed Advanced Digital Cable Set-Top Boxes for U.S. Cable Industry

NEW ORLEANS, May 8, 2000 — Today at Cable 2000, Microsoft Corp. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Company Ltd. announced they have developed a working model of advanced digital cable set-top boxes for the U.S. cable industry as a result of collaboration in furtherance of a memorandum of understanding entered into in July 1998.

Matsushita will demonstrate the Panasonic-branded digital interactive set-top box supporting the Microsoft® TV Platform in Microsoft Booth 3501 this week at the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) conference. The device complies with the OpenCable specification, supports the IEEE 1394 home-networking specification, and supports Internet browsing and e-mail.

“We are very pleased to show our digital interactive set-top box supporting the Microsoft TV Platform and are further encouraged by the innovative products and great strides Microsoft has made in the U.S. cable business for Panasonic,”
said Yoshitomi Nagaoka, vice president of AVC (Audio Visual and Computer) Company at Matsushita.
“This success is one of the symbols of the strong relationship between Microsoft and Matsushita.”

“Microsoft welcomes Matsushita’s continued show of support for the Microsoft TV Platform,”
said Jon DeVaan, senior vice president of the Consumer Group at Microsoft.
“The combination of high-quality set-top boxes and Microsoft TV client software is a clear win for our mutual network operator associates and consumers.”

DeVaan added that the collaboration with Matsushita is an excellent demonstration of Microsoft’s commitment to work with industry leaders to bring viewers the most compelling television experience possible. To date, more than 40 leading hardware, software, service and solution providers have pledged their support for the Microsoft TV Platform.

Making Progress Through Collaboration

Matsushita’s development of Microsoft TV Platform-based advanced digital cable set-top boxes for the U.S. market marks another milestone in its longstanding relationship with Microsoft. In addition to participating in the Windows® CE Porting Partners Program to port its AM33 microprocessor to the Microsoft Windows CE operating system, Matsushita signed the Windows CE Semiconductor Partner Agreement with Microsoft.

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. The client software, Microsoft TV Basic Digital for current-generation set-top boxes and Microsoft TV Advanced for advanced set-top boxes, operate a range of TV-centric appliances from advanced set-top boxes to integrated televisions. Microsoft TV Server and Microsoft TV Access Channel Server are a pair of server software products that offer 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 all interactive content authored according to the Advanced Television Enhancement Forum (ATVEF) specification.

About Matsushita

Matsushita Electric Industrial Company Ltd. (NYSE
), one of the world’s leading developers and producers of digital electronic products for the home, the office and in between, recorded annual sales of $63.7 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, 1999. Based in Osaka, Japan, and best known by its Panasonic brand, Matsushita Electric has more than 282,000 employees worldwide, with overseas operations that include over 220 companies in 46 countries and regions. The company’s principal North American subsidiary is Matsushita Electric Corp. of America, which, along with its affiliates, operates 24 manufacturing sites and employs 23,000 people.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies 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.

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