REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 6, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it has extended its interactive TV (iTV) software offering with the release of Microsoft® TV Advanced 1.5, making it faster and easier for network operators to deploy advanced iTV services and add new revenue streams to their current businesses. Being unveiled at the Microsoft TV Developer Conference in Amsterdam, Nov. 8-9, and at the Microsoft Silicon Valley Campus, Dec. 6-7, Microsoft TV Advanced 1.5 is designed to better meet the needs of network operator customers worldwide. Also at the conferences, Microsoft TV will roll out the newest additions to its Developer Program tailored to meet different iTV development needs.
“Microsoft is committed to developing the best software to help our customers tap into new revenue streams and meet consumer needs as efficiently as possible,”
said Jon DeVaan, senior vice president of the TV Division at Microsoft.
“The announcements we are making today are part of an industrywide effort to set a new standard for iTV that provides network operators and developers with the resources and tools to reach their goals.”
Benefits of the New Microsoft TV Advanced 1.5
Microsoft TV Advanced 1.5 is available today and now features the following:
Improved robustness. The Windows® CE 3.0 operating system provides a more robust real-time operating system that is faster and more flexible.
Ease of development. Developers can build flexible and reliable designs quickly with familiar integrated development and testing tools. Sample code and enhanced documentation will increase developer productivity.
Interoperability. DOCSIS and Euro DOCSIS 1.0 compliance ensures the set-top box software and original equipment manufacturer hardware is interoperable among all the various DOCSIS-certified cable modem termination system (CMTS) equipment in the head end.
Improved reference UI. PAL 4:3 configuration of the Microsoft TV Reference UI has been added to the existing NTSC configuration. Improved internationalization support for Western European languages is also included for streamlined localization.
Support. Cable operators that deploy Microsoft TV Advanced 1.5 also benefit from Internet bridging, which enables the cable to be shared as an Internet connection, making it easier to provide Internet services to consumers. This will save consumers money because they will not need to purchase an additional gateway box.
Worldwide Developer Program Conferences and Sneak Peek
The Microsoft TV Developer Conferences will provide the information and resources that developers need to create new revenue-generating iTV products and services for the Microsoft TV platform. The European conference will be held at the Golden Tulip Barbizon Palace in Amsterdam, Nov. 8-9, and the North American conference will be held at the Microsoft Silicon Valley campus in Mountain View, Calif., Dec. 6-7.
The developer conferences will address the technical and business aspects of working with Microsoft TV. They will feature important presentations, discussions and question and answer sessions and demonstrations of iTV application development, service revenue models, the latest market research and a preview of the forthcoming Application Jumpstart kit for developers. Presenting companies in Amsterdam will include marketing consultants Strategy Analytics, interactive game developer Two Way TV, Portuguese network operator TV Cabo and Portuguese iTV developer DotOnTheBox.
The conferences also will include the first sneak preview of the new Microsoft TV Authoring Add-Ins for Microsoft Visual Studio® .NET.
“One of Microsoft’s biggest strengths is building and supporting a dynamic third-party community of companies that create solutions which add value to our software platforms,”
said Paul Mitchell, senior director of content and standards of the Microsoft TV Group at Microsoft.
“It’s exciting to see the range and stature of companies involved in the Microsoft TV Developer Program and conferences, representing all aspects of the iTV ecosystem.”
Microsoft TV Developer Program Enhancements
In the coming months, the Microsoft TV Developer Program will be extended to meet the evolving needs of iTV developers, including the addition of a new, no-fee basic membership tier.
The basic tier will provide access to self-paced training, newsgroups, code samples and more. Membership to this new tier will be offered to qualifying companies at no charge.
Members of the premium programs will receive all the benefits of the basic tier, as well as Microsoft TV software, documentation and product support, demonstration versions of third-party developer tools and access to set-top boxes from Microsoft TV OEMs. The
“premium” members also will receive a corresponding MSDN® subscription, together with Microsoft’s development tools including Visual Studio .NET with special add-ins to support TV application development. Discounts on Microsoft TV training courses and developer events also will be included.
About Microsoft TV Developer Program
With active members in 20 countries, the Microsoft TV Developer Program brings together companies across the television and technology industries to create iTV programming, services and applications that run on the Microsoft TV platform, as well as hardware vendors, systems integrators and more. The Developer Program also includes member companies that develop tools for iTV content creation and delivery, and companies that develop 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 featuring expert instructors from Microsoft and from leading program members on various topics. Authoritative technical documentation for Microsoft TV and other resources in the program are being 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.
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 TV 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 services, programming, hardware and software for the interactive TV industry. Microsoft TV supports open standards and is backed by the technical expertise, support and broad third-party developer community Microsoft is known for. It is an integral part of Microsoft’s .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.
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