The Active Network


Microsoft Introduces Revolutionary Screen-Capture Capability In Windows Media Technologies 7

New Technology Delivers Perfect Reproduction Of Computer Screen Motion at Dial-Up Bandwidth Speeds

LAS VEGAS -- April 10, 2000 -- Today at the National Association of Broadcasters Conference 2000 (NAB2000), Microsoft Corp. unveiled Microsoft® Windows Media™ screen-capture technology, the industry's first "true-to-the-source" screen-capture compression technology as a feature of the newly announced Windows Media Technologies 7. The new Windows Media screen-capture technology is the first to capture and stream computer motion without any loss in image quality or screen content. Developed through extensive customer input and intensive work by the research and development team at Microsoft's Digital Media Division, this new technology will offer a critical breakthrough for delivering streamed software demonstrations and training via the Internet or across corporate networks. Windows Media screen-capture technology is scheduled to be released in beta form as a component of Windows Media Technologies 7 in May 2000.

"One of our biggest challenges in creating online training is to fully re-create over the Internet the exact end-user experience for a software application without forcing the trainee to install a full application," said Al Lippa, Internet/E-commerce manager at J.D. Edwards & Co. "The new Windows Media screen-capture technology will enable us to deliver software training content at very high quality and at very low bandwidths for online training and marketing to our knowledge workers and customers worldwide."

Until now, capturing computer screen motion for software demonstrations and training has been done with tools that are ill-suited for streaming media, resulting in large files that are impossible to stream across enterprise networks or the Internet. Now, detailed computer applications streamed to audiences over the Internet - even at dial-up connection speeds - will deliver presentations of the same quality as in-person demonstrations, while also allowing for full audio support.

True-to-the-Source Quality - From Dial-Up to Broadband

The Windows Media screen-capture technology will provide streaming of audio and perfect reproductions of computer screen images at bit rates as low as 15 Kbps. Corporations will be able to easily incorporate the content into such programs as training applications, help desk support and software demonstrations with full audio instruction within the presentation. For the first time, graphical files will be able to be delivered with exceptional quality, at up to 800x600 full-screen resolution, over a standard modem.

Windows Media screen-capture technology will give businesses from Web sites to enterprise customers the tools to do the following important tasks:

  • Create streaming presentations that take users through each step and mouse-click necessary to install or use a new software application
  • Provide potential customers with a demonstration over the Web of the capabilities of a new software product
  • Provide interactive Web site tours and training to help consumers navigate complex e-commerce sites

"The new Windows Media screen-capture technology is a great example of how important customer feedback is for driving digital media innovation," said Dave Fester, general manager of marketing, Digital Media Division, Microsoft. "The Windows Media screen-capture technology will enable large enterprise customers and ISVs to easily create their own solutions and reach previously unattainable levels of quality and performance for online training and knowledge management."

Wide Availability of Capture Tools

The new Windows Media Encoder 7, which enables users to record directly from the screen and save into Windows Media Format, is the first application to offer built-in support for the Windows Media screen-capture technology. Using the new Windows Media SDK 7, software developers will be able to easily add this capability to their applications.


Windows Media screen-capture technology is scheduled to be released in beta form as a component of Windows Media Technologies 7. 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.


  *   *