BTopenworld Embraces Windows Media for Music Subscription Service

LONDON and REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 23, 2001 — BTopenworld and Microsoft Corp. today announced that BTopenworld has chosen Microsoft® Windows Media™
Technologies to deliver the United Kingdom’s first secure music subscription service and is building a customized player based on Microsoft’s industry-leading Windows Media Technologies to ensure the best possible online music experience for its users.

With its Windows Media underpinnings, BTopenworld can ensure customers high-quality audio and seamless access to content secured with Windows Media digital rights management. BTopenworld’s specially designed custom player will provide the company’s 1.5 million customers with a leading player optimized for high-quality playback.

BTopenworld Music ( ) is currently running a trial of the United Kingdom’s first secure music subscription service. This trial is being supplemented by an ongoing research program to ensure a service that will deliver the richest possible experience to music fans in the United Kingdom by providing an unprecedented level of choice and convenience and the highest-quality music from top artists.

BTopenworld is working with On Demand Distribution (OD2) to provide music from many of the United Kingdom’s leading record companies, including BMG Entertainment, V2 and Warner Music UK, which are home to such artists as Dido, Stereophonics and David Gray, respectively.

“We are delighted to be working closely with Microsoft at the cutting edge of online music delivery,”
said Ben Andradi, president and chief operating officer of BTopenworld.
“The powerful and easy-to-use Windows Media Technologies is an important component in our delivery of the United Kingdom’s first secure music subscription service offering the best possible music experience to our customers.”

“BTopenworld is putting together the right combination of great music and great technology to deliver a powerful service for music fans,”
said Will Poole, vice president of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft.
“The last year has shown that people are increasingly turning to the Internet for music, and this is the kind of service that can take digital music even further into the mainstream in the United Kingdom.”

About BTopenworld

BTopenworld, British Telecommunication plc’s mass-marketing Internet division, is one of the United Kingdom’s leading Internet service providers, delivering broadband and narrowband services to more than 1.5 million business customers and consumers in the United Kingdom through . The company offers a wide range of Internet access packages and payment options to satisfy the changing needs of consumers and business customers. For narrowband customers, these range across Pay-as-you-go; BTopenworld for BT surf packages, offering unmetered Internet access evenings and weekends; BTopenworld Anytime, offering access to the Internet available 24/7; and BTopenworld Connect Anytime, a 24/7 package designed specifically for business customers.

BTopenworld’s broadband products cover a choice of download speeds, from 500 Kbps to up to 2 Mbps, single or multiuser setups for PC or Mac, and static or dynamic IP addresses. BTopenworld also offers many other Internet services to support customers’ online experience, including e-mail services, SpeechMail (charged at NationalCall rates), Cyberpatrol, a WAP portal and more. The company also provides virtual ISP services to a network of corporate partners that reach an additional 1.1 million customers. Andy Green is the chief executive officer of BTopenworld, and Ben Andradi is chief operating officer.

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.

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 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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