Microsoft Announces New Relationships to Extend Digital Media Leadership Throughout Europe

LONDON, Oct. 11, 2000 — Today at the Streaming Media Europe 2000 conference, Microsoft Corp. unveiled key new relationships with a broad set of leading European and multinational music labels, content delivery networks and content providers. Today’s announcements reinforce the unique advantages of Windows Media™
Technologies’ unmatched localization for European customers and demonstrate the burgeoning interest in Europe for the industry-leading scalability, reliability, and audio and video quality of Windows Media.

Announcements in key areas include the following:

  • International content providers including Sony Music Entertainment Europe; Netcine, a subsidiary of Path


    , one of the leading film production companies in France; and Yacast
    are embracing the Microsoft® Windows Media Format for new streamed audio, video and distribution of major films via the Internet, targeted to the European market.

  • Leading European content-delivery networks Global TeleSystems Inc. (GTS), owner of the largest fiber-optic backbone in Europe, and are choosing the superior scalability and reliability of Windows Media Services running on Windows® 2000 Server to build out massive new content-delivery services for content providers and corporations across Europe.

  • Microsoft today announced 50 new Windows Media Service Providers across

    11 countries in Europe
    to help provide a skilled group of technology specialists all well-versed in deploying Windows Media-based solutions for European content providers and corporations.

These announcements, unveiled today in a keynote by Will Poole, vice president of Microsoft’s Windows Digital Media Division, reflect Microsoft’s vision of transforming the digital media experience through great technology combined with end-to-end digital media services relationships.

“Available in over 25 languages, Windows Media Technologies is transforming the digital media experience by providing the best localized technology for businesses and consumers all over the world,”
Poole said.
“The new relationships unveiled today will bring to millions of European users the great quality, scalability and reliability of Windows Media.”

European Content Providers Rush to Embrace the Windows Media Format

Key European and international content providers, recognizing the superior audio and video quality of the Windows Media Format, today announced exciting new content in the Windows Media Format:

  • Sony Music Entertainment Europe and Microsoft Corp. today announced they will be cooperating on a streamed European music video channel for the first time. This streamed video channel – tailored to the German language for music fans in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and to the Swedish language for fans in Sweden – will feature localized video programming highlighting Sony Music artists and streamed in Windows Media Format. The music videos will be featured prominently at localized MSN® portals and Sony Music’s site. This content will be offered at bit rates suitable for dial-up users and broadband users who want to experience near-VHS-quality video with a 300Kbps stream. The as-yet-unnamed channel is scheduled to be launched in November.

  • Netcine, a subsidiary of Path


    , one of the leading film production companies in France
    , announced it has selected the Windows Media Format to release 1,000 movies via the Internet from Path
    ‘s library of films. These will made available as part of its upcoming video-on-demand service.

  • French radio webcaster Yacast announced today it will be offering webcasts of some of the leading radio stations in France such as RTL, RTL2, Skyrock and Fun Radio, which have combined audiences of nearly 16.3 million terrestrial listeners. All these stations will be webcast using the Windows Media Format.

Unmatched Support Among the Leading European Content-Delivery Networks

Global TeleSystems Inc. (GTS), owner of the largest fiber-optic backbone in Europe, together with Compaq and Microsoft, announced the development of the largest pan-European streaming media service with the eventual capacity to serve up to 1 million concurrent streams via a network stretching across Europe. This breakthrough turnkey digital media service is based on Windows Media Technologies.

In addition, announced it will promote Windows Media Technologies as part of its development of a state-of-the-art network infrastructure for video and audio broadcast across Europe. A series of powerful servers will form a high-capacity network for online video and audio delivery, which will run Windows Media Services on Windows® 2000 across Europe, linked by a high-speed backbone to ensure the highest-quality delivery possible for the end user. The company is already operational in London; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Frankfurt, Germany; and Stockholm, Sweden and will expand to a total of 16 European points of presence by March, 2001.

Microsoft Unveils 50 New Windows Media Service Providers Across Europe

To help companies deploy digital media solutions more rapidly, Microsoft today unveiled 50 new European members of the Windows Media Service Provider Program. The new members are located in 11 countries throughout Europe: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Windows Media Service Providers offer a skilled group of technology specialists all well-versed in deploying Windows Media-based solutions. Each has demonstrated expertise and has an ongoing commitment to Windows Media Technologies. Services provided to content providers and corporations include encoding, live event production, enterprise deployment, advertising and rights management. There are now more than 300 Windows Media Service Providers worldwide. Customers interested in locating a Windows Media Service Provider in their part of the world can access a directory at .

About Windows Media

Windows Media is the leading digital media platform, providing unmatched audio and video quality to consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations. Windows Media offers the industry’s only integrated rights-management solution and the most scalable and reliable streaming technology tested by independent labs. Windows Media Technologies includes Windows Media Player for consumers, Windows Media Services for servers, Windows Media Tools for content creation, and the Windows Media Software Development Kit (SDK) for software developers. Windows Media Player, available in
26 languages, is the fastest-growing media player. More information about Windows Media can be found at .

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.

Microsoft, Windows Media, Windows and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks 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.

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