REDMOND, Wash., May 11, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that WebTV Networks, Inc. will provide native support for Microsoft® Windows Media TM with the new Windows Media Player for WebTV® , giving subscribers to WebTV Network TM services access for the first time to the rapidly expanding selection of streamed audio and video on the Internet. WebTV Networks is offering this enhanced service for free to the more than 1 million subscribers to WebTV services.
“Our goal is to allow people to enjoy Windows Media any time, any place and on any device,”
said Dave Fester, general manager of marketing, Digital Media Division at Microsoft.
“Today, consumers using WebTV services can, for the first time, tap into the world of Internet audio and video streaming in the comfort of their living room.”
The Windows Media Player, the fastest-growing PC digital media player as measured by PC Data (September 1999 to March 2000), now offers Web TV customers the opportunity to experience streamed Internet radio online through their televisions. Consumers can listen to many of their favorite hometown sports events, local news and music from anywhere in the world at http://WindowsMedia.com/ . Nearly 2,000 top radio stations from around the world are now streaming live using the Windows Media Format. For the first time, customers of WebTV services can also enjoy live on-demand streaming video on the Web, including breaking news from sites such as MSNBC.
WebTV Networks will begin rolling out the new features to subscribers starting today. The release will be staggered according to set-top box type and manufacturer over the course of the next six weeks. Subscribers will be notified upon login when they are eligible to take advantage of the upgrade.
Today’s announcement reflects the growing consumer demand for Windows Media and continues the broad support for the Windows Media Format across various platforms and devices. Windows Media is supported on portable music players from Diamond Multimedia Systems Inc., Creative Labs Inc., THOMSON-RCA, Sony Corp. and I-Jam Multimedia, as well as cable set-top boxes from General Instrument Corp. and Philips Electronics.
About Windows Media
Windows Media, the leading digital media platform, provides consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations with unmatched audio and video quality. Windows Media Technologies, which include Windows Media Player, Windows Media Services, Windows Media Tools and the Windows Media Software Development Kit (SDK), are available for download at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/ . The Windows Media Player is the fastest-growing digital media player and is available in 24 languages. To date, there are over 100 million licensed copies of the Windows Media Player, growing by more than one every second.
About WebTV Networks
WebTV Networks, Inc., is a leading provider of enhanced TV services using Internet and digital technologies. WebTV Networks offers a range of enhanced TV services for set-top boxes, satellite products and other TV-related devices. Today, these services include the WebTV Classic Internet service, the WebTV Plus interactive service, and WebTV Personal TV service. WebTV Networks owns and operates a network of TV services and provides enabling software and hardware reference designs to consumer electronics manufacturers.
WebTV Networks, based in Mountain View, Calif., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp. Microsoft incorporates WebTV technologies in the Microsoft TV software platform, which it licenses to television network operators worldwide.
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.