Microsoft and Eloquent Announce Strategic Agreement To Deliver End-to-End Digital Media Solution for Enterprise Customers

REDMOND, Wash., and SAN MATEO, Calif., Oct. 24, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. and Eloquent Inc., a leading provider of Web-based rich media business communications solutions, today announced a strategic agreement to develop a comprehensive end-to-end enterprise communications solution for the management and delivery of streaming media. This solution will help address the growing needs of enterprise customers to manage the large volume of streamed Windows Media™
content on their corporate networks.

Microsoft and Eloquent will collaborate to fully integrate the industry-leading quality, scalability and reliability of Microsoft® Windows Media Technologies into the Eloquent Communications Server, an innovative streaming content and enrichment system, to create a powerful business communications solution for enterprise customers. In addition, Eloquent will assist large companies with rich media communications by offering Windows Media content creation services. The Eloquent Communications Server combined with the Windows Media Platform, will be a digital media communications solution promoted by Microsoft’s enterprise sales force.

Industry consultant Leonor Ciarlone of CAP Ventures Inc., a strategic consulting firm for providers and users of digital business communication technologies and services, said,
“Corporations adopting digital media-based communications are faced with the challenges of how to systematically author, publish and manage this new content across enterprise networks. The collaboration between Microsoft and Eloquent will bring a strategic rich media solution to corporations that need to search and enrich the growing amount of digital media being created throughout the enterprise.”

“Windows Media has quickly emerged as a leading digital platform among enterprise customers, and we recognized the market opportunity of collaborating with Microsoft,”
said Abe Kleinfeld, president and CEO of Eloquent.
“Combining Microsoft’s innovations, market momentum and enterprise sales expertise with Eloquent’s proven rich media content management and enrichment system is a huge step in accelerating the adoption of rich media business communications.”

Rich media business communications integrate documents, graphics, collaboration and streaming digital audio and video content to enable companies to communicate with customers, partners and employees faster and more effectively. According to an April 2000 study by independent research firm Market Decisions Corp. (MDC) of 1,200 large organizations, the use of streaming media has doubled from 10 percent to 20 percent since October 1999, and the use of streaming media among enterprise organizations is growing dramatically, with the number of companies intending to deploy streaming media solutions rising by 125 percent. Through personalized Web-based communications, companies can drive top-line revenue and lower communications costs.

“Enterprises are rapidly embracing digital media, and our customers have told us they need more comprehensive solutions to publish, manage, search and enrich the new content they are developing,”
said Will Poole, vice president of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft.
“Our work with Eloquent, an innovative pioneer in this area, will help meet this vital enterprise need for an end-to-end rich media communications solution.”

The Eloquent Communications Server transforms Windows Media-based rich media content into content that can be searched and navigated so knowledge workers can get to the specific information they need to do their jobs. The combined solution allows end users to create enriched streaming content with presentation slides, product demonstrations, discussions, polls, documents, URLs and other business objects so it gains more context and value with increased usage. Enterprises will be able to easily create, find, secure, manage and create streaming content for a broad range of applications, including new product rollouts, e-learning, investor relations, corporate communications and Web-based marketing.

About Eloquent

Eloquent (Nasdaq
) is the leader in Web-based rich media business communications solutions. Eloquent products and services quickly and effectively transfer knowledge to large audiences over the Web using synchronized on-demand video, audio, text, graphics and interactivity. Eloquent solutions improve an organization’s ability to deploy knowledge quickly. They reduce time to market, increase customer satisfaction, and enable on-demand strategic communications that drive top-line performance — at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.

Eloquent’s full-service solution offering includes Web-based enterprise software, content production facilities, content and application hosting, and a complete professional services offering. Eloquent’s open architecture integrates easily with industry-leading technologies, enterprise applications and other digital content. Eloquent’s worldwide customer base includes over 2 million users across more than 220 companies. More information can be found at the company’s Web site 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. Microsoft offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Except for historical information, all the expectations and assumptions contained in the foregoing are forward-looking statements involving risks and uncertainties. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, competition in our markets and for qualified personnel, timing of customer orders and technological change. For additional information regarding these and other risks refer to Eloquent’s Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2000, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Microsoft, Windows Media and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Eloquent and the Eloquent logo are trademarks of Eloquent Inc.

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 on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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