CHICAGO, June 11, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced at Cable 2001, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) convention, that Infogrames Inc. has joined the Microsoft® TV Developer Program and plans to adapt several of its popular children’s CD-ROMs for interactive TV. Infogrames plans to develop new versions of games from its Humongous Entertainment label for Microsoft TV Access Channel Server, a server-based platform for delivering interactive services and diverse Windows® operating system-based content to current-generation and advanced digital set-top boxes.
Among the first titles to be adapted by Infogrames will be
“Freddi Fish 4,” “Pajama Sam 3”
“Putt-Putt Joins the Circus,”
which to date have sold more than 3 million CD-ROMs combined worldwide. The games will be accessible to children and their families through their cable service and will be similar to the PC versions, maintaining the full range of interactivity, creative graphics and educational value. Infogrames will also adapt future titles for interactive TV. The exciting programs will be delivered by Microsoft TV Access Channel Server using the common TV and digital set-top box. The Infogrames games will be accessible just like a cable channel, through ordinary use of the remote control.
Microsoft TV Access Channel Server enables content producers and cable operators to tap into new revenue-generating opportunities and provides access to large and new markets while simplifying current retail distribution channels and providing superior security against CD piracy.
Microsoft TV Access Channel Server also extends the useful life of digital cable set-top boxes by delivering compelling new services and content, such as Windows-based applications, Internet surfing and e-mail functionality, and multimedia programs using a software solution that runs on a network operator’s head end. Because the solution is server-based, it also allows for easy and centralized maintenance and upgrading of all content and plug-ins. This is especially significant to cable operators, enabling them to lower costs on both set-top box replacements and continuous maintenance.
“With the unique ability of Microsoft TV Access Channel Server to deliver Windows-based games, ‘edutainment’ and other content to current-generation cable set-top boxes directly from the network operator head end, popular PC-based titles can reach new markets,”
said Alan Yates, vice president of sales and marketing for the Microsoft TV Group at Microsoft.
“Infogrames is proving that there is a wealth of rich, PC-based content that can be made available to television viewers through Microsoft TV Access Channel Server.”
“We’re very pleased to join the Microsoft TV Developer Program and to work with Microsoft as it creates a new and exciting platform for interactive television,”
said Andy Hieke, senior vice president and general manager of Infogrames’ Humongous Entertainment.
“The convergence of television, computing and games creates an array of opportunities. The widespread appeal of the games we have chosen makes them the ideal titles to launch our expansion beyond the PC and into new markets.”
) Humongous Entertainment is a leader in interactive children’s entertainment software, producing high-quality, hand-animated CD-ROMs starring original characters including Putt-Putt, Freddi Fish, Pajama Sam and SPY Fox.
“We’re pleased to be working with award-winning Infogrames,”
said Nittai Hofshi, manager of Access Channel Server content programs for Microsoft.
“Other developers of Windows-based applications can also take advantage of our software platform to extend their content and brands to new audiences via interactive TV. We’re seeking out and working with the most innovative leaders in this space to help them take advantage of this new opportunity.”
Infogrames’ titles adapted for Microsoft TV Access Channel Server will be showcased in the Microsoft TV booth (No. 2300) at Cable 2001.
About Microsoft TV Developer Program
With active members in 15 countries, the Developer Program brings together companies across the television and technology industries to create interactive TV programming, services and applications that run on the Microsoft TV platform. The Developer Program also includes member companies that develop tools for interactive TV content creation and delivery, and companies that develop Microsoft Windows-based games and edutainment software that can be adapted for television using Microsoft TV server products. The Developer Program has launched a series of interactive, live online training webcasts on various topics featuring expert instructors from within Microsoft and from leading program members. Authoritative technical documentation for Microsoft TV and other resources in the program are updated continually to provide members with the training and materials they need to gain hands-on expertise in developing offerings for the Microsoft TV platform offerings. Microsoft is also working with companies across the entire spectrum of television and related technologies to help make interactive TV a reality. In addition to the Developer Program, the Microsoft TV Solution Provider program provides tools and training for hardware vendors, systems integrators and more.
About the Microsoft TV Platform
The Microsoft TV platform is a standards-based, client and server software family that enables network operators and their partners to deliver the most compelling interactive TV services to consumers. The platform supports a range of TV devices — from current and next-generation set-top boxes and digital video recorders to integrated television sets, entertainment appliances and other computing devices. Through the platform, network operators and hardware providers can team up to offer consumers an unparalleled range of services, from e-mail and Internet on television to interactive programming, electronic program guides and digital video recording.
Microsoft TV also creates significant new economic opportunities for network operators and industry leaders worldwide that have chosen to work with the platform to deliver or supply the services, programming, hardware and software for interactive TV. Microsoft TV supports open standards and is backed by the technical expertise, support and broad third-party developer community for which Microsoft is known. It is an integral part of the Microsoft .NET vision of empowering people through great software — any time, any place and on any device. More information about the Microsoft TV platform can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/tv/ .
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.
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The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
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