NEW ORLEANS, May 3, 2004 — Today at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s National Show, Microsoft Corp. announced that it has submitted its initial draft of common language infrastructure (CLI) specifications for the OpenCable Application Platform (OCAP), the cable industry’s software standard for deploying interactive services to Cable Television Laboratories Inc. (CableLabs). The announcement demonstrates Microsoft’s growing commitment to the development and adoption of advanced digital services by encouraging the market entry of new suppliers.
OCAP is part of the OpenCable initiative, which is managed by CableLabs, the cable television industry’s nonprofit research and development consortium. To date, CableLabs has issued OCAP versions 1.0 and 2.0. Microsoft and CableLabs have agreed to work together to explore the potential of adding Microsoft®
.NET CLI to OCAP . The proposed addition of .NET would expand the common runtime platform among a variety of computing devices including set-top boxes and PCs, making home entertainment networking simpler and more compelling to the consumer and creating expanded opportunities for cable operators.
Upon reviewing the initial draft of OCAP-CLI, CableLabs will seek comments from a working group of industry experts, which will make recommendations to be incorporated in Microsoft’s draft. The incorporation of OCAP-CLI by CableLabs could offer cable operators a choice of development environments, allowing them to take advantage of Microsoft’s ongoing investment and innovation of .NET. At the same time, such an extended OCAP specification would be fully backward-compatible, allowing cable operators to leverage and develop their OCAP 1.0 investment in the future. CableLabs is in the process of creating a working group of industry veterans to evaluate and refine the initial OCAP-CLI specifications. Integration of OCAP-CLI into the OCAP specifications will be considered later in the year.
As part of the effort to continue to drive the development of industry standards, the Microsoft TV division has added James Van Loo as OCAP program manager and John Mick as group program manager for standards. Van Loo previously worked at Sun Microsystems Inc., where he was instrumental in developing TV standards in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the Digital Video Broadcast (DVB), including Multimedia Home Platform (MHP), OCAP and Application Configuration Access Protocol (ACAP). Before joining Microsoft TV, Mick was the director of the Software Technology Group at Integrated Device Technology Inc., where he served as the software architect for network packet processing silicon solutions, and managed teams developing simulation models and product hardware and software for OC-192 speed packet processing systems.
“Our submission of this initial draft of the common language infrastructure specifications for OCAP is indicative of Microsoft TV’s continued commitment to driving digital TV interoperability to the advantage of cable operators, applications developers and consumers,” said Paul Mitchell, senior director of Applications and Standards of the Microsoft TV Division at Microsoft. “Bringing in talented individuals like James and John who have a deep understanding of and passion for digital TV software standards will help us ensure Microsoft TV solutions continue to provide the best support for digital TV applications and services, today and in the future.”
“We are pleased with Microsoft’s commitment to participate in OCAP and other CableLabs initiatives, and its willingness to propose improvements consistent with cable industry requirements,” said Don Dulchinos, vice president of Advanced Platforms and Services at CableLabs. “We are looking forward to bringing our cooperation to the next level.”
About the Microsoft TV Platform
Microsoft TV provides software solutions that help pay-TV operators create new services that delight consumers and derive more value from digital video investments. The Microsoft TV product family supports a range of digital video services including interactive program guides, digital video recording, high-definition TV and on-demand programming. The Microsoft TV platform works across a full range of set-top boxes and TV devices. More information about Microsoft TV can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/tv/ .
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