LOS ANGELES, Nov. 29, 2000 — Today at the 2000 Western Cable Show, Microsoft Corp. and Two Way TV announced the signing of a letter of intent for a strategic alliance to bring Two Way TV’s expertise in basic and advanced games and services to the Microsoft® TV platform. Two Way TV is a pioneer of
“play as you watch”
interactive games and experiences for enhanced TV.
The potential arrangement would allow the two industry leaders to develop the best interactive games available on enhanced TV for customers of the Microsoft TV platform in North America and Europe. Specifically, they will determine the best way to combine Two Way TV’s technology and popular, live interactive games service with the Microsoft TV platform. The games developed by Two Way TV will take advantage of the core technologies in the Microsoft TV platform to create unique user experiences.
As part of the strategic alliance, Microsoft TV and United Kingdom-based Two Way TV would share early technologies, specifications, feedback and processes. The companies also would agree to co-market and demonstrate to Microsoft TV customers the technology and services that such an alliance would create.
“We are delighted to be moving toward a closer working relationship with Microsoft TV,”
said Simon Cornwell, chief executive officer of Two Way TV.
“It’s a powerful, flexible resource for interactive television, and I’m confident that the games we develop for the platform will really show off its capabilities.”
“We’re excited to work with Two Way TV,”
said Paul Mitchell, senior group manager with Microsoft TV.
“Providing interactive games to TV viewers is a very important part of our vision to provide the best enhanced TV experience possible. Two Way TV is a recognized leader in this area, and bringing its expertise and technologies into the Microsoft TV platform will give our partners the ability to deliver the richest services available.”
About Two Way TV
Two Way TV is a channel of interactive games designed for the television. These include arcade games, trivia challenges, word puzzles and observational games that are refreshed every day. Popular television shows such as the BBC’s
“A Question of Sport”
and Channel 4’s
“Fifteen to One”
“The Crystal Maze”
are also joining the channel as interactive games.
People spend just over an hour with the channel each time they play, giving Two Way TV a 4 percent daily reach. Next year Two Way TV will launch
TV programs that enable viewers at home to play along with live broadcast programs.
In the United Kingdom, the Two Way TV channel is available to NTL and Telewest digital cable subscribers. Beginning in January it will be on digital terrestrial platform ONdigital. In the United States and Canada, it will be featured through Twin Entertainment, a joint venture with Interactive Network Inc. Two Way TV Australia runs on the Austar satellite service.
Two Way TV started in 1992 and backers include NTL and The Hilton Group.
Further details about Two Way TV’s financial, technological and content partners can be found at the company’s Web site: http://www.twowaytv.com/ .
About the Microsoft TV platform
The Microsoft TV platform is a comprehensive, standards-based, client and server software solution that enables network operators to enhance the TV experience for their viewers and subscribers. The software platform creates significant new economic opportunities for network operators and the suppliers of programming, hardware and software in the TV industry worldwide. Microsoft TV is backed by the technical expertise, support and broad third-party developer community that Microsoft is known for. The platform makes it cost-effective for network operators to deploy new enhanced TV services on first-generation digital set-top boxes as well as the new generation of advanced set-top boxes and entertainment appliances now emerging.
Microsoft TV products include Microsoft TV Basic Digital and Microsoft TV Advanced software for set-top boxes and Microsoft TV Server and Microsoft TV Access Channel Server for providing enhanced TV services through the network operators’ head end. As an extension of the Microsoft TV platform, Microsoft TV Technologies will provide broadcast-rich services and functions within future generations of the Windows® operating system, paving the way for enhanced TV services on personal computers and other computing devices.
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 and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Two Way TV is a registered trademark of Two Way TV Ltd. Twin Entertainment and the Two Way TV stylized word mark are pending trademark applications of Two Way TV Ltd. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
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 http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.