Microsoft Announces Investments in DRM to Drive New Multimedia Commerce Solutions for the Wireless Industry

LAS VEGAS — April 5, 2006 — Today at CTIA WIRELESS 2006, Microsoft Corp. announced it will make significant investments in its digital rights management (DRM) technologies to enable a new offering and drive scenarios that support the wireless industry. As wireless delivery of content to mobile handsets continues to grow at a rapid pace, this commitment of resources and manpower will help enable next-generation mobile entertainment scenarios for consumers.

“We’re responding to our wireless partners around the world who are asking for a solution to enable new scenarios in the industry,” said Kevin Johnson, co-president of the Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft. “We want to give consumers what they want —seamless experiences with premium content on a wide range of mobile devices.”

The more than 800 million mobile handsets sold worldwide each year represent a largely untapped market for digital entertainment. Microsoft’s commitment to capitalizing on this opportunity is the result of ongoing discussions with many of the wireless industry’s largest firms.

Microsoft® Windows Media® Digital Rights Management (DRM) is broadly licensed and deployed by more than 100 content services and on hundreds of devices. The platform helps protect and securely deliver content for playback on computers, mobile devices and portable devices. It supports a wide range of business models that include download and play, subscription, and video on demand, and enables device manufacturers to directly acquire licenses on their handsets. The breadth of scenarios supported by Windows Media DRM directly correlates to its status as the most widely used DRM system worldwide. The platform will serve as a key building block to enable new and innovative scenarios for mobile content delivery — an important request of wireless industry leaders.

“We expect Microsoft’s commitment will accelerate deployment of many services that carriers see as important for the next generation of wireless communications,” said Jim Ryan, vice president of data services at Cingular Wireless. “Microsoft’s digital media expertise, applied to wireless in a way that focuses on the needs of the carriers, is a very positive step for our industry and consumers alike.”

“With the convergence of the wireless and entertainment industries, Motorola continues to drive new multimedia technologies and business models that enable seamless connectivity for our customers,” said Chris White, senior director of global product marketing for the music category of Motorola Inc. “Microsoft is stepping up to support this vision further with ‘anywhere everywhere’ protected digital bits.”

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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