Microsoft TV Extends Developer Program With Three Major European CD-ROM Developers

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS SEPT. 10, 2001 — Microsoft®
TV announced today that three of the biggest and most innovative developers of CD-ROMs in Europe have joined the Microsoft TV Developer Program and are adapting some of their best-selling titles for interactive TV. Montparnasse multimedia, Galilea Multimedia and Interactive Television Entertainment ApS (ITE) join The Learning Company and Infogrames Entertainment SA in bringing their award-winning CD-ROMs to a new audience via the Microsoft TV Access Channel Server (ACS) software solution.

Montparnasse multimedia, one of the most innovative companies in France, is highly regarded for its impeccable production values. Montparnasse multimedia is planning to adapt its children’s titles such as the award-winning “The Living Sea” and education titles such as “Sethi and the Crown of Egypt” for the Microsoft TV platform.

Another leading French developer, Galilea, will adapt its localized CD-ROM titles for Microsoft TV Access Channel Server and plans to show titles running in English, French and Dutch at IBC this year.

ITE is the largest CD-ROM developer in Scandinavia and creator of the hugely popular character Hugo, who is featured in a number of its children’s titles. Among the games ITE is adapting for interactive TV are “Magic Oak” and “Hugo Jungle 1.” More titles from ITE’s huge catalog of Hugo games will be added soon.

“There is a huge amount of experience and talent among PC content developers, and by harnessing Microsoft Access Channel Server we can enable them to deliver their offerings to a whole new audience via interactive TV,” said Nittai Hofshi, manager of the Access Channel Server Developer Program for Microsoft TV. “The fact that we can now work closely with developers in Europe and help them translate their products to a new audience via a new medium benefits consumers worldwide. Microsoft Access Channel Server allows developers to use their existing skills to deliver high-quality content to interactive TV viewers via existing set-top boxes — a nice synchronicity!”

“Microsoft’s Access Channel Server allows us to introduce a whole new audience to characters such as Hugo,” said Sren Srensen, general manager of ITE. “This is a wonderful opportunity for ITE and certainly a potential new revenue stream. We’re looking forward to deploying our titles on interactive TV services worldwide.”

“Working closely with the Microsoft team in Europe has really made a difference to this project for us,” said Guy Parmentier, general manager of Galilea. “With our skills in PC content development and Microsoft’s expertise in interactive television platforms, we have produced a very compelling product in a very short time.”

Stphane Grand-Chavin, international manager of Montparnasse multimedia, said, “The interactive TV industry is still very young, and the general level of content is still at a very basic stage. The Microsoft TV platform has allowed us to adapt our existing PC-based products, with all their usability and functionality developed over many years, to television. It has enabled us to produce content that is far more sophisticated and has a greater level of depth than anything else out there. No other platform allows us to do this.”

Microsoft TV Access Channel Server is a server-based application for delivering interactive services and diverse Windows®
operating system-based content to current-generation and advanced digital cable set-top boxes. It 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.

With active members in 21 countries, the Microsoft TV 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. Microsoft also is 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 Corp. 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 “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, the TV logo and Windows are registered 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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