Microsoft Unveils Faster, Easier-to-Use With Expanded Spring Content Lineup

REDMOND, Wash., May 2, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced a redesigned WindowsMedia™
.com that is faster and easier to use and features an expanded lineup of exciting new content providers. The new lineup is available today at and via the Media Guide in Microsoft® Windows Media Player 7.

Improvements to the site include the addition of five more guides for popular content including business, news and sports, more powerful searching, pages that load faster and more featured content providers that highlight the hottest content daily.

Content providers joining the lineup include AudioBasket, Bloomberg News, CameraPlanet, Carsey-Werner eDistribution, EMI Christian Music Group, Guinness World Records, iNEXTV, Interscope Records,, The ComedyLab, Universal Studios Home Video, and many more.

“ has proven itself as the best place to find great content online, with the most visitors of any audio and video guide and almost a quarter of a billion referrals to content providers so far this year alone,”
said Dave Fester, general manager of marketing for the Digital Media Division at Microsoft.
“The new lineup offers even more great content in Windows Media Format and makes it even easier for people to find what they’re looking for.”

“When one of our artists is featured at, our servers start humming,”
said Ty Braswell, vice president of New Media for Virgin Records.
“ is always key to our global Internet marketing plans. For fans, artists and labels, delivers.”

To celebrate the new design and new lineup, will highlight one of the four most popular categories — music, movies, radio and entertainment — each week this month with links to exclusive new content. Beginning this week, the Entertainment Guide will feature clips, interviews and cast read-throughs of scripts for
“3rd Rock From the Sun.”

Faster and Easier to Use

Since was redesigned last year and integrated into the Media Guide of Windows Media Player 7, traffic at has nearly doubled. According to Media Metrix March 2001 data, the site now serves more than 6 million unique users a month, making it the most popular audio and video guide on the Internet by a wide margin.*

The new responds to the growth in traffic and demand for Windows Media Audio and Video with five more guides for the most popular content categories, adding lifestyles, business, news, sports and webcams to the existing guides for music, radio, movies, entertainment and the home page. The new guides make it faster to find content with at least six daily features as well as daily headlines from the featured content providers.

The site itself loads faster, too. Pages have been redesigned to speed download times with less-demanding images, no frames and fewer server requests.

Other improvements in the new include the following:

  • A new, unified search tool that finds content on the site and on the Web and returns results with biographical information and song samples

  • Color-coded sections that make it easy to navigate the site

  • Direct links from artist pages to music-related merchandise from ARTISTdirect (coming in mid-May).

“For online radio, is the place people turn,”
said Craig Olson, CEO of Cablemusic Networks, a leading Internet music site and audio streaming technology company.
“ is a big reason we just hit four of the top 25 spots on the Measurecast Ratings Service charts in the first week we were tracked. Moreover, has helped Cablemusic to break into the top 10 of the Arbitron Webcast Network Ratings as well.”

More Top Content

The new lineup adds dozens of top new content providers to the more than 1,000 content providers now accessible through

New featured content providers include, among others, AudioBasket, Bloomberg News, The FeedRoom and MSNBC News in the Business Guide; Alltrue Networks Inc., AudioBasket,, Carsey-Werner eDistribution, FMiTV/Vidnet, Guinness World Records, Honkworm International, iNEXTV, itsy bitsy Entertainment Company, MeTV,, The ComedyLab and www.bthere.TV in the Entertainment Guide; AudioBasket, Critter Gitters,, iNEXTV, MSNBC News and in the Lifestyles Guide; Universal Studios Home Video in the Movie Guide; EMI Christian Music Group, MUSICBLITZ, BMG Entertainment, Grand Royal Records, Interscope Records and Want Media in the Music Guide; The FeedRoom and MSNBC News in the News Guide and FMiTV, MeTV and MSNBC News in the Sports Guide.

They join currently featured content providers at including ALWAYSi, AtomFilms, atWork Radio on, Billboard Radio, Cablemusic Networks,, CINEMANOW, from Kanakaris Wireless, Cyberradio2000, FILMSPEED, FirstLook, GameSpot, House of Blues (, iFILM, (Warner

Music Group), Intertainer,,, National Public Radio,, Virgin Records and many more.

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.

* Audio and video guide category defined by Microsoft. It includes,, other RealNetworks sites, Inc. and

Microsoft and Windows Media 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.

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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