Microsoft and Pioneer Announce Support for Windows Media 9 Series In Pioneer’s Upcoming Digital Network Entertainment Products



The DigitaLibrary (TM), which is the first in Pioneers line of DNE products, will be launched later this year as the first home theater device to include playback support for Microsoft Windows Media Video technology. Click for high resolution image.

REDMOND, Wash., July 15, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. and Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. today announced that Pioneer’s upcoming Digital Network Entertainment (TM) (DNE) products will support the new Microsoft®
Windows Media (TM) 9 Series, previously code-named Windows Media

Corona. The DigitaLibrary (TM), which is the first in Pioneer’s line of DNE products, is scheduled to be launched later this year as the first home theater device to include playback support for Microsoft’s Windows Media Video technology. The flexible design of the DigitaLibrary makes it possible to add support for the next-generation Windows Media 9 Series audio and video technology when it becomes available.

The DigitaLibrary will enable a rapidly growing number of digital media enthusiasts to access Windows Media content directly from selected online content providers, and to take their expanding collections of digital audio and video from their PCs and play them back securely anywhere in their home.

“Windows Media 9 Series innovations in audio and video compression, combined with Pioneer’s DNE products, offer great new opportunities for our customers to link their PCs to their home theaters and to have access to their digital music, photos and video anywhere throughout the home,”
said Bob Niimi, senior vice president of business development for the Home Entertainment Division at Pioneer.
“Pioneer chose to support Windows Media 9 Series audio and video technology because it clearly demonstrates a shared commitment to create and offer innovative, high-quality home entertainment experiences to consumers.”

“Today’s announcement by Pioneer, one of the leading innovators in high-quality home theater technology, shows how the wealth of digital media on the PC is also rapidly becoming more accessible in the living room,”
said Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft.
“This is a great example of the new digital media experiences Windows Media 9 Series will enable consumers to enjoy.”

Pioneer selected Microsoft Windows Media 9 Series audio and video technology to provide the audio and video decoding for its DNE products because of its superior audio and video quality in the smallest bandwidth or file size. Pioneer also will support Windows Media digital rights management (DRM) technology and its broad use for secured music and video playback. The advanced technology of Windows Media Audio makes it possible to store twice as much CD-quality music in the DigitaLibrary compared with other audio codec technologies such as MP3.

Pioneer also will support Windows Media Video for both streamed and downloadable video and for home movies created using Windows®
Movie Maker in Windows XP. Support for Windows Media 9 Series audio and video technology means users will get a further 20 percent quality improvement on this already industry-leading audio and video compression. Pioneer selected National Semiconductor Corp.’s Geode Processor to offer this breakthrough support for Windows Media Video, as well as Audio on a chip, a first in the consumer electronics industry.

Microsoft also today announced that Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates will announce the public availability of the entire Windows Media 9 Series platform for the first time in Los Angeles at the Hollywood and Highlands Complex on Wednesday, Sept. 4. Windows Media 9 Series will ship in its final version later this year.

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 digital 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 for software developers. Windows Media Player, available in 26 languages, is the fastest-growing and now leading media player. More information about Windows Media can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmedia/.

About Pioneer’s Home Entertainment Division

Pioneer’s Home Entertainment Division is the leading manufacturer of plasma and projection televisions, DVD players and DVD recorders, A/V receivers, CD players and CD recorders, speakers, and other audio and video accessories. The company markets its products under the Pioneer and Pioneer Elite brand names. Its focus is on the development of new digital technologies including Digital Network Entertainment.

About Pioneer

Pioneer Corp. is a leader in optical disc technology and a pre-eminent manufacturer of high-performance audio, video, computer and cable television equipment for the home, car and industrial markets. The company focuses on four core business domains including DVD, display technologies, Digital Network Entertainment and components. Founded in 1938 in Tokyo, Pioneer employs more than 31,000 people worldwide. Its shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE
“PIO”
). Pioneer Electronics’ headquarters is located in Long Beach, Calif., and its U.S. Web address is http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/.

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, Windows Media 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.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. Journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team for additional assistance.

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