Microsoft Collaborates With Portugal’s OCTAL on Development Of Products, Technology for Set-Top Boxes

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 1, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding with OCTAL, Engenharia de Sistemas (Systems Engineers), SA (Octal), of Portugal to work together on a prototype advanced set-top box for the European digital video broadcasting (DVB) and North American cable set-top box markets. The goal of the collaboration is to offer network operators a compelling set-top solution based on Microsoft® TV software and Octal hardware platforms, providing for faster delivery to market of enhanced TV services.

The memorandum, signed Wednesday at the 2000 Western Cable Show in Los Angeles, sets the stage for negotiations governing future agreements, the goals of which include the following:

  • Cooperation to use the Octal hardware platform as a reference for European and DVB-based network operators

  • Microsoft TV Advanced software to be licensed to Octal for worldwide commercial distribution

  • Collaboration on the development of products and technologies for Microsoft’s enhanced TV software solutions, IP telephony, future set-top boxes, home gateways and Octal’s Home Gateway products

“Microsoft is excited to be integrating Microsoft TV software with Octal’s advanced set-top box technology,” said Alan Yates, vice president of sales and marketing at Microsoft TV. “We believe this combined effort will clearly demonstrate to network operators in Europe and North America that they can generate more revenue in a cost-effective way via an advanced set-top box platform compared with lower-performance alternatives.”


OCTAL, Engenharia de Sistemas, SA, is wholly owned by Novabase SGPS (Lisbon BVL “NBAN.IN” ). Novabase SGPS is a leading consulting and system services company headquartered in Portugal. Novabase specializes in a wide range of technologies, including business-to-business and supply chain management, e-business, data warehouse, and data quality and enrichment. Its clients include leading companies in the financial, healthcare, manufacturing, telecommunications, and utilities and energy industries as well as the government sector.

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.

Microsoft TV has been designed to support worldwide digital TV broadcast standards, including DVB, Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) and ARIB. It also supports commonly used Internet standards such as HTML, JavaScript and Dynamic HTML, as well as all interactive content authored according to the Advanced Television Enhancement Forum (ATVEF) specification. More information about Microsoft TV and Microsoft TV Technologies can be found at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” ) 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 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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