AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, and REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 8, 2000 — Philips Electronics, one of the world’s largest set-top box suppliers, and Microsoft Corp., a leading supplier of Enhanced TV software, today announced agreements designed to encourage the cable and satellite industry as well as consumers to adopt Enhanced TV products and services. Under the agreements, Philips will license Microsoft® TV software and collaborate with Microsoft on the development of a range of set-top boxes based on the Microsoft TV software and Philips Nexperia-based hardware platform. The first of these Philips set-top boxes running Microsoft TV is expected to be available in 2001. Microsoft TV customers who want to deploy a Philips set-top box earlier will be offered a migration path.
The Philips/Microsoft Enhanced TV platform will support a wide range of emerging product categories, including the following:
Interactive TV. Programming will be enhanced with interactive content for richer viewer participation.
Personal TV. Services will include hard-disk-based digital video recording, favorite channels and customized electronic program guides that enable viewers to personalize their TV experience.
Internet on TV. Access to Internet browsing and services will be available via the television.
The set-top boxes will enable network operators to offer consumers a broad array of Enhanced TV features and services, such as personal video recording (PVR), e-commerce, online games, interactive television programming, instant messaging, Internet browsing, e-mail, electronic programming guide (EPG), home networking, residential gateway, and pay-per-view and video-on-demand capabilities.
The companies have agreed to work together to fulfill specific needs of network operators and expand the potential of Enhanced TV worldwide based on open standards. Areas of cooperation will include home networking and residential gateway services. In addition, under the agreements, Philips and Microsoft will establish identical laboratories at each company to develop and test new Enhanced TV implementations.
Partnerships are more important in our industry than ever before,
said Rob van Oostenbrugge, chairman of Philips Digital Networks.
To offer consumers the right combination of hardware and software, services and applications, we must put the right alliances in place. Microsoft, with its solid expertise in software and services, is a natural partner for Philips. Together, we are laying the foundation for a new generation of broadband services via Internet-enabled and intelligent appliances for the mass market.
Philips Licenses Microsoft TV Technology
Philips will license Microsoft TV client software, which supports a complete broadband Enhanced TV experience for consumers and is for use in digital and analog set-top boxes and TV devices.
Philips will implement the Microsoft TV software in its Nexperia-based set-top boxes and will develop a series of products for both the retail and network operator environments. Under the terms of the agreements, Philips will be able to offer a Microsoft TV license with its set-top boxes as part of an integrated hardware and software package for network operators.
Philips and Microsoft Lay Foundation for Mass Market
Today’s announcement underscores the shared vision between Philips and Microsoft to accelerate the mass-market availability of exciting new broadband TV services through the support of open standards. By supporting standards such as HTML, XML, DVB and DOCSIS, the two companies are helping to ensure that other key providers — including cable operators, broadcasters, content developers, application developers and service providers — can easily take advantage of the new opportunities available through broadband TV networks
Microsoft and Philips are working together to bring Enhanced TV to consumers,
said Jon DeVaan, senior vice president of the TV Division at Microsoft.
Microsoft and Philips make a powerful Enhanced TV alliance. With Philips’ proven track record in the consumer retail industry, where one in two households owns a Philips product, and Microsoft’s expertise in standards-based Internet technologies, we are poised to bring Enhanced TV to consumers around the world.
Philips and Microsoft have worked together to launch new television set-top box concepts such as Internet television and other set-top box deployments based on a long-term agreement between Philips and Microsoft WebTV Networks Inc. In addition, Philips and Microsoft collaborate in a variety of other product areas ranging from home networking to streaming media.
Philips Set-Top Box Platform
Philips is a leading provider of digital set-top boxes capable of providing the latest Enhanced TV services. Through its commitment to MPEG-4 media streaming, hard-drive storage, multimedia processing and in-home networking, Philips is driving the future of television by transforming the set-top into a residential gateway for broadband-based multimedia services.
About the Microsoft TV Platform
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