Microsoft Announces Windows Media 9 Series Hosting Provider Certification Program

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 19, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the creation of the Windows Media®
9 Series Hosting Provider Certification Program. For content companies evaluating their hosting and content delivery network (CDN) options, Windows Media 9 Series certification is a symbol of proven excellence in the delivery of Windows Media Audio and Video 9 Series streams. Many of the largest hosting providers in the United States, including Akamai Technologies Inc., Limelight Networks, Loudeye Corp., Speedera Networks Inc., Streaming Media Corporation and SyncCast, are the first to be certified, having passed a stringent set of tests and criteria to gain this certification status.

“A rigorous certification program will help content providers like NPR make more informed decisions about which hosting providers have the technical expertise and most reliable networks to deliver Windows Media 9 Series content. NPR is preparing to offer its content in the Windows Media 9 Series format, and we are also moving toward CDN delivery of audio content. This type of certification program is very helpful to our decision-making processes,”
said Maria Thomas, vice president and general manager for

“Content owners can now be assured Windows Media 9 Series Certified Hosting Providers have been evaluated and tested to ensure they have the technical expertise to deliver the most out of the Windows Media 9 Series platform,” said Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows®
Digital Media Division at Microsoft.
“Whether you want to reduce your bandwidth costs using Windows Media Audio and Video 9 compression, deliver the best streaming experience to your customers with Fast Streaming, or create new opportunities with secure streamed events using our new Live DRM, a certified Windows Media 9 Series hosting provider has proven it can deliver.”

Each Windows Media 9 Series Certified Hosting Provider has committed to full implementation of Windows Media Services 9 Series on Windows .NET Server 2003 and subjected itself to rigorous third-party testing through Streamcheck, which specializes in measurement and certification of CDN quality of service. The testing is designed to ensure that hosting providers not only offer thorough end-to-end support for Windows Media 9 Series, but also maintain a rigorous quality of service for the responsive and reliable delivery of Windows Media Audio and Video 9 Series streams. In addition, each certified hosting provider agrees to subject itself to random quality checks to assure continued high-quality hosting service with Windows Media 9 Series.

Other requirements for certification include the following:

  • Offering full end-to-end implementation of Windows Media 9 Series technology including support for live and on-demand streaming, server-side playlists with advertising, and Windows Media Digital Rights Management including Live DRM

  • Demonstrating significant Windows Media 9 Series hosting capacity with at least 20 servers running Windows Media Services 9 Series on Windows .NET Server 2003 Enterprise Edition deployed at all times and the availability of 8 Gbps of aggregate throughput

  • Providing proven developer expertise for creating custom server-side plug-ins with Windows Media Services 9 Series

  • Hosting support for Microsoft® Producer for PowerPoint®
    2003 content

Hosting providers, content providers and enterprise customers can find more information about the Windows Media 9 Series Hosting Provider Certification Program and a list of all hosting providers that have passed certification at .

About Windows Media

Windows Media is the leading digital media platform, used by consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations throughout the world. The Windows Media 9 Series platform includes Windows Media Player 9 Series; Windows Media Services 9 Series, the powerful streaming server feature in Windows .NET Server 2003 for distributing content; Windows Media Encoder 9 Series for content creation; Windows Media Audio and Video 9 Series for the best-quality audio and video; Windows Media DRM for protecting content; and the Windows Media Software Development Kit for software developers to develop digital media products and services. Windows Media Player, available in 26 languages, is now the leading 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, Windows Media, Windows and PowerPoint 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 on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at h .

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