OctalTV and Pace to Provide Set-Top Boxes for the Next Generation Of the Microsoft TV Developer Program

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 14, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the official launch of the newly enhanced Microsoft® TV Developer Program. The company also announced that leading set-top box suppliers OctalTV SA and Pace Micro Technology plc will provide Microsoft TV-configured set-top boxes as part of the program. The upgraded developer program features new resources designed to meet the evolving needs of interactive television (iTV) developers, including a new, free introductory level for companies that are in the planning phase for interactive TV, as well as new premium-level benefits, including access to set-top boxes from OctalTV and Pace.

“We have been working with Microsoft TV for more than a year, and we are impressed by Microsoft’s determination to add more value to its TV Developer Program,”
said Mark McKeown, vice president of Content for Two Way TV Ltd., a leading interactive TV games developer headquartered in the United Kingdom.
“With the new program benefits, we have the opportunity to expand our content development capabilities for the Microsoft TV platform beyond our current deployments for TV Cabo in Portugal and meet the requirements of additional hardware platforms.”

The Microsoft TV Developer Program enables developers across the television and technology industries to work with the latest iTV technologies in creating content and services running on the Microsoft TV platform. Program applicants can choose one of three new membership levels:

  • Introductory Level. This free membership level offers qualified companies a localized content development kit; Microsoft TV Advanced 1.5 simulator; TV Authoring Add-Ins for Visual Studio® .NET; an ATVEF/SMPTE 363M player; how-to support through code samples, online training and presentations; and third-party development tools. Members also receive a monthly newsletter and access to news groups.

  • Client Level. A $3,000 membership offers all the benefits of the Introductory Level as well as the Microsoft TV Applications JumpStart Kit, five licenses and documentation for Microsoft TV Advanced 1.5, a license to buy set-top boxes or an x86-based development computer for Microsoft TV running the Windows® CE operating system. Members also receive support from Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS) and an MSDN® Professional Level subscription, plus development tools and other resources, and one-third off the standard cost of enrollment in up to five Microsoft TV training courses.

  • Platform Level. A $7,000 membership encompasses all the Introductory and Client Level benefits, plus five developer licenses for Microsoft TV Server 1.0.1, additional product support time and an upgrade to MSDN Enterprise Level. Members also receive two-thirds off the standard cost of enrollment in up to five Microsoft TV training and developer courses.

“The new benefits of membership in the Microsoft TV Developer Program are the result of listening to the needs of iTV developers around the world,”
said Paul Mitchell, senior director of content, standards and tools for the Microsoft TV Group.
“As part of the renewed developer program, Microsoft TV empowers iTV developers by providing better access to the vast resources Microsoft has to offer. These specialized membership levels will give developers a unique set of tools and resources designed to meet their individual needs.”

Beginning next month, the next generation of the Microsoft TV Developer Program will give developers access to the OctalTV 5005 or the Pace Di 6000 advanced set-top boxes. These set-top boxes will be optimized for the Microsoft TV platform and will be available at a special price.

“Microsoft has proven its developer program is second to none for iTV content creation,”
said Randy Carlson, vice president of iTV group engineering for digeo, The Interactive TV Company.
“We are thrilled to see Microsoft continue to push forward in helping the development community create great iTV content for the advanced services that digeo has been deploying. This program rapidly prepares high-quality partners, which in turn provides more value to network operators, like Charter Communications.”

About the Microsoft TV Developer Program

With active members in more than 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; the program also embraces hardware vendors, systems integrators and more. The developer program includes member companies that develop tools for iTV content creation and delivery, and companies that develop Windows operating system-based games and edutainment software that can be adapted for television using Microsoft TV Server products. Microsoft TV is working with companies across the entire spectrum of television and related technologies to help make interactive television a reality. More information on the Microsoft TV Developer Program is available at http://www.microsoft.com/tv/working/ .

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 television. 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/ .

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, Visual Studio, Windows and MSDN 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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