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Microsoft Announces Windows Media Technologies 7

Unveils Industry's Only Internet Broadband-Ready Digital Media Platform at NAB2000

LAS VEGAS -- April 10, 2000 -- Today at the National Association of Broadcasters Conference 2000 (NAB 2000), Microsoft Corp. unveiled Windows Media™ Technologies 7, the only Internet broadband-ready platform designed for creation, distribution and playback of broadcast-quality digital media. Microsoft® Windows Media Technologies 7 will uniquely enable customers to realize the promise of Internet broadband with broadcast-quality video; CD-quality audio; end-to-end secure content distribution; unmatched reliability and scalability; and an open, easy-to-use and extensible platform.

"Technology that takes full advantage of Internet broadband is the key to the next wave of media innovation," said Will Poole, vice president of the Digital Media Division at Microsoft. "Windows Media Technologies 7 will deliver the full potential of Internet broadband for consumers, content providers, developers and enterprise customers. Coupled with rapidly increasing bandwidth to the home, Windows Media 7 will hasten the merger of the Web and media worlds."

"Windows Media Technologies provides many of the critical elements we need to extend our content to consumers via broadband Internet delivery," said Richard Cohen, president of the MGM Home Entertainment and Consumer Products Group. "MGM, with the largest modern film library in the world, is extremely interested and focused on the significance of these technologies and their contribution to the growth of our business."

Building on years of Microsoft's investment in digital media research and development and the rapid industry adoption of Windows Media, Windows Media 7 includes innovations that break new ground by delivering the following benefits:

  • High-quality audio and video. Windows Media 7 improves upon the leading audio and video quality with the industry's first broadcast-quality video at 60 frames per second, capturing more of the original source content than any other streamed video format. The new Windows Media Encoder 7 is fully optimized to easily handle traditional content sources, including CD, film and television, with broadcast-ready features including live source switching on the fly, Inverse telecine and de-interlacing. The new Windows Media Encoder 7 also is the first to offer "true-to-the-source" computer screen capture and encoding.
  • Easy-to-use, easy-to-extend platform. Windows Media 7 will set a new standard in ease of use and extensibility for consumers, content providers and developers. It will remove the barriers for mainstream consumers by offering an all-in-one, customizable player that provides them with one place to find, organize and play digital media on their PC. The new Windows Media Encoder 7 features a simple yet powerful interface that offers easy access to professional-quality encoding. And the new Windows Media SDK 7 will provide easy-to-use tools and flexible licensing, which enables developers and content providers to integrate Windows Media innovations into their own solutions for playing, encoding and editing digital media.
  • Industrial-strength security with second-generation digital rights management. Windows Media Rights Manager 7 builds on the success of Microsoft's pioneering digital rights management technology - already embraced by BMG Entertainment, Intertainer Inc., Liquid Audio Inc., Sony Music Entertainment, Yahoo! Inc. and many others - with a second generation of more flexible and even more secure technology. Windows Media Rights Manager 7 will offer the most complete end-to-end rights management by delivering more ways for content owners to create new revenue streams from their existing content libraries, scalability and extensibility capable of supporting the largest e-commerce sites, and rights management SDK components that can be integrated easily into existing e-commerce infrastructures. In addition, in the upcoming Windows® Millennium Edition, Windows Media Rights Manager will provide secure audio path technology, protecting audio content from the server all the way to the sound card.
  • Unmatched scalability and reliability. Windows Media Services today offers the only digital media technology built from the ground up for the Microsoft Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Advanced Server operating systems. Providing digital media scalability that is unmatched in the industry, Windows Media Services on Windows 2000-based servers will provide up to 9,000 concurrent narrowband streams of video from a single server, and up to 2,400 broadband Internet streams.* Windows Media Services sets a new standard for rock-solid reliability and is already in use in leading enterprise intranets and by many of the largest content providers on the Internet.

Availability

Windows Media Technologies 7, including Windows Media Player, Windows Media Format, Windows Media Rights Manager, Windows Media Encoder and the Windows Media SDK, is scheduled to be available in beta form in May 2000. The Windows Media Player 7 Technology Preview for software developers and technical evaluators is available for download today at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/.

 

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