Microsoft TV Shines Spotlight on Interactive TV Programming Leaders At NCTA

CHICAGO, June 11, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the addition of 10 new participants in its popular Microsoft® TV Content Builder Initiative (CBI), a unique offering designed to accelerate the development of interactive TV programming, applications and services for advanced set-top box deployments. Excite@Home, EzPixTV from NDS Ltd., FOX Cable Networks, Gotham Broadband, Kobalt Interactive, QBeo Inc., Spiderdance Inc., Standard Alliance Corp., Vast Video Inc. and Worldspan LP join a list of more than 40 companies in the CBI, representing leaders in broadcasting, technology and interactive TV development.

More than 20 innovative, deployable and advanced interactive TV applications developed by CBI participants will be demonstrated at the Microsoft TV booth (No. 2300) during Cable 2001, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) convention and international exposition in Chicago this week. Among the projects being featured are the following:

  • Virtual channel content services from MSNBC, Scripps Networks (produced by Beyond Z Interactive Media), DTN Weather Services LLC, Bloomberg Television, PBS, E! Networks (produced by MetaTV Inc.) and Expedia Inc. (produced by MetaTV)

  • Interactive applications and games from InfoSpace Inc., QBeo, FolksNetwork, Two Way TV Ltd. and EzPixTV from NDS, and interactive programming from CBS

  • Enhanced programming from Bloomberg (produced by InfoSpace), Comedy Central (produced by RespondTV), The FeedRoom, E! Networks and the Weather Channel Enterprises Inc.

  • Enhanced advertisements for Ralston Purina and Gillette Co. (produced by RespondTV), the Volvo Group (produced by Cylo), and Ford Motor Co. (produced by Intellocity USA Inc.)

“The CBI, which we launched in January, has proven successful in supporting the development of interactive content by leading Developer Program members,”
said David Witus, director Microsoft TV Content Programs at Microsoft.

Our goals for the CBI were multifold:
providing a venue for creating advanced interactive TV projects for Microsoft TV, getting feedback from participants on the quality of our technical documentation and support, and providing our network operator customers with a solid, well-balanced selection of programming and services that are deployment-ready today. We are very pleased with the results on all counts thus far and believe that our ongoing efforts on the CBI demonstrate our long-term commitment to investing in and championing compelling, cutting-edge interactive TV programming and services.”

“Our experience to date participating in the CBI has been invaluable,”
said Reed Moormeier, president of DTN Weather Services.
“The CBI, as well as the resources provided through the Microsoft TV Developer Program, has enabled us to develop compelling on-demand weather content that will take advantage of new opportunities provided by upcoming deployments.”

The CBI is a unique offering for members of the Microsoft TV Developer Program. Microsoft created the CBI to support interactive TV industry efforts to develop enhanced programming for advanced, broadband set-top boxes. Under the initiative, Microsoft has provided leading content developers, selected from the Microsoft TV Developer Program, with Motorola DCT5000+ advanced set-top boxes and hands-on technical support and resources for creating specified interactive TV programming projects.

About the 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, reference and
software that can be delivered to 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 for 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 .

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.

Microsoft and Windows 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.

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