Microsoft Joins World DAB Forum

REDMOND, Wash., April 8, 2004 — Microsoft Corp. today announced its membership of the World DAB Forum, an international group of 80 organisations focused on developing Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) technology.

Microsoft will work with World DAB Forum members to accelerate the deployment of devices and services based on the DAB standard. Radio broadcasting using DAB offers high-quality and distortion-free audio. It also creates opportunities for broadcasters to offer new services by delivering text, data, pictures and video using radio signals.

“We are excited to have Microsoft join the World DAB Forum,” said Annika Nyberg, president of the World DAB Forum. “We expect that our efforts to expand the usage of DAB technology will be helped significantly as a result of Microsoft’s involvement.”

“The World DAB Forum is an established source of worldwide innovation for broadcasting standards,” said Amir Majidimehr, corporate vice president of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. “We believe DAB will inspire many new and exciting services for consumers in many parts of the world. We are happy to offer our expertise to help develop the technology.”

Using DAB together with Windows Media® 9 Series, trials are currently being conducted to deliver 5.1-channel surround sound in London, working with Capital Radio plc, NTL Broadcast, RadioScape Ltd., and PURE Digital and Imagination Technologies Ltd. Microsoft®
Windows Media Audio 9 Professional (WMA 9 Pro) makes it possible to deliver true surround sound over DAB for the first time. Details of the 5.1 trial are now available on .

“Capital Radio is extremely pleased to participate in this DAB trial, as our listeners for the first time are able to hear Capital in London broadcasting in CD quality with surround sound,” said Nathalie Schwarz, director of strategy and development at Capital Radio. “We are excited to be the leading content partner on this innovative trial using Windows Media 9 Series, and believe there will be demonstrable benefits for both our listeners and advertisers as DAB continues to gain momentum.”

“This trial demonstrates significant innovation for DAB and provides listeners with a greatly enhanced DAB listening experience,” said David McBrien, vice president of Business Development [Ensigma/Metagence] at Imagination Technologies Ltd. “Microsoft’s membership of the World DAB Forum means that members will be able to work more closely with Microsoft and the compression technology offered by Windows Media 9 Series. DAB will be used for an even greater range of high-quality services.”

In addition to the trial outlined above, Microsoft Research Cambridge in England has been exploring a range of services and technologies that make use of DAB. This research is being carried out in close cooperation with a number of global partners and has entered initial trials across home and mobile networks in Cambridge.

About the World DAB Forum

The World DAB Forum is an international, nongovernmental organisation whose role is to promote the awareness, adoption and implementation of DAB Digital Radio worldwide. Its members include public and commercial broadcasters, receiver manufacturers and other organisations committed to converting the technology behind DAB Digital Radio — the Eureka 147 DAB system — into a commercial marketing success. The Forum has recently established a new technical committee to develop a robust multimedia broadcasting system using the DAB transport mechanism.

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 Server (TM) 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 Digital Rights Management to help protect 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 “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft, Windows Media and Windows Server 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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