Microsoft Honors Artisan Home Entertainment With Second Annual Windows Media Innovation Award

REDMOND, Wash., June 19, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Artisan Home Entertainment is the recipient of the second annual Windows Media® Innovation Award, recognizing the movie company’s pioneering use of digital media. The Windows Media Innovation Award, previously presented to Lenny Kravitz in May 2002, honors groundbreaking digital technology achievements in the entertainment industry. Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows®
Digital Media Division at Microsoft, will present the award to Glenn Ross, president of Artisan’s Family Home Entertainment, tonight, June 19, at The Beverly Hills Hotel.

“Artisan’s innovative use of digital media offers movie fans new and exciting experiences with high-definition video,”
said Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect at Microsoft.
“With the release of ‘Standing in the Shadows of Motown,’ the DVD-ROM release of that movie, and the first high-definition DVD-ROM ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Extreme DVD),’ Artisan is helping drive the film industry forward to meet the changing demands of its customers.”

Artisan Home Entertainment is receiving the award for pushing the digital envelope further than ever before with its use of Windows Media 9 Series on two groundbreaking DVD releases,
“Standing in the Shadows of Motown”
and
“Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Extreme DVD),”
as well as for Artisan Pictures’ participation in the BMW Films Digital Cinema Series, which included more than 2,000 theatrical screenings of
“Standing in the Shadows of Motown”
across the United States. Through the use of Windows Media 9 Series,
“Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Extreme DVD)”
came packaged with the first high-definition DVD-ROM in 1,080-pixel high resolution with 5.1 surround sound, providing a stunning video-viewing experience for millions of DVD consumers in half the file size of MPEG-2.

“Artisan Home Entertainment is proud to be recognized by Microsoft as an innovator,”
said Amir J. Malin, CEO of Artisan Entertainment, parent company of Artisan Home Entertainment.
“Windows Media 9 Series enables us to bring high-definition experiences into the homes of millions, demonstrating the full potential of digital entertainment on the PC and showcasing our films as they’ve never been seen before. We have always strived to add optimum value for the consumer with all our DVD releases, and Microsoft’s incredible technology enables us to continue to be at the forefront of the industry in achieving this goal.”

First Web 5.1 Surround Sound Digital Music Releases

In addition to Artisan, Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd and Andy Hunter also will be recognized this year with Honorable Mention awards for their creation of the Web’s first 5.1 surround sound digital music releases using Windows Media Audio 9 Professional (WMA Pro), allowing fans to immerse themselves in full surround sound for home-theater-like experiences on their Windows Powered PCs.

  • Peter Gabriel has made his latest album,
    “Up,”
    available to consumers for digital download in both 5.1 surround sound using WMA Pro and in stereo. Before fans purchased the album, they had the opportunity to preview it in its entirety by downloading it from the Web at http://windowsmedia.com/petergabriel/ .

  • Pink Floyd released a promotional download of its hit
    “Money”
    from the re-released SACD version of the album
    “Dark Side of the Moon”
    using WMA Pro.

  • Andy Hunter recently remixed the first track from his album
    “Exodus”
    in WMA Pro for release via the Web.

“It is exciting to honor the creative and technologically advanced efforts we have seen this year from Artisan Home Entertainment, Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd and Andy Hunter,”
said Dave Fester.
“All have created breakthrough experiences that are dramatically changing how consumers can enjoy entertainment on Windows-based PCs today.”

Windows Media Emerging Innovator Program Established

As part of the 2003 Windows Media Innovation Award, Microsoft established a new college-level scholarship program, the Windows Media Emerging Innovator Award Program, at the top U.S. film schools, including Columbia University, New York University and the University of California, Los Angeles. As part of the program, Microsoft will contribute hardware and software to help advance each school’s digital film initiatives and conduct seminars for students on the benefits of Windows Media in the filmmaking process.

As part of the program, at each school’s annual film festival, a student will be selected as the winner of the Windows Media Emerging Innovator Scholarship and awarded a $10,000 grant. The grants are designed to help emerging filmmakers realize their potential through the use of digital film, and will be administered by each school’s facilities. Microsoft’s Digital Media Division will kick off the scholarship competition with a series of seminars on each campus beginning in fall 2003.

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 new Windows Media 9 Series will power the next wave of digital media, delivering the best playback experience, unmatched audio and video quality, and integrated optional digital rights management technology, and is the most comprehensive platform for developing digital media products and services. The Windows Media platform includes Windows Media Player; Windows Media Services, the powerful streaming server for distributing content; Windows Media Encoder for content creation; Windows Media Audio and Video for the best-quality audio and video; Windows Media DRM to help protect content; 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 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.

Event photos will be available after 9 a.m. PDT at http://www.wireimage.com/ or by calling (212) 686-8900.

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