Microsoft Introduces Universal Plug and Play Initiative To Help Consumers Get More From New and Existing Home Electronics
Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Compaq and Twenty-Five Other Companies Join to Promote Standards For Simple, Seamless Home Networking
LAS VEGAS - Jan. 7, 1999 - - Today at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Microsoft Corp. introduced Universal Plug and Play, an initiative that allows a broad range of intelligent consumer appliances and PCs to easily connect as peers and share resources within the home. Universal Plug and Play - the next phase of the Plug and Play initiative introduced by Intel Corp., Compaq Computer Corp. and Microsoft in 1992 - is a cross-industry effort to define a set of common interfaces that describe devices and services, allow automatic discovery when a device is plugged into a network, and allow other devices and people to use them without complicated setup or configuration. Universal Plug and Play is a key element in Microsoft's standards-based vision of simple networking, where easy-to-configure intelligent appliances, networked peripherals, PCs and the services they provide become peers on networks in homes and businesses.
"As appliances become more intelligent and the distinction between appliances and computing devices blurs, a key part of their value to consumers will come from their ability to communicate with other intelligent devices," said Craig Mundie, senior vice president, consumer strategy, Microsoft. "Because Universal Plug and Play is built on standards, it will be relatively easy for vendors to implement, allowing a quick and easy transition for consumers and enabling them to enjoy the convenience, community and better communication afforded by a home network."
Companies supporting Universal Plug and Play are helping to drive the emergence of a new generation of easily networked consumer devices and to remove the barriers for consumers implementing home networks. This support will lead to opportunities for using and combining information in new ways with home devices. The following companies support Microsoft's efforts to help define solutions that simplify networking in the home: Intel, Hewlett-Packard Co., Compaq, Dell Computer Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., Eastman Kodak Co., Samsung Information Systems America (SISA), Toshiba Corp., Lucent Technologies Inc., Axis Communications Inc., National Semiconductor Corp., 3Com Corp., ATI Technologies Inc., Diamond Multimedia Systems Inc., Conexant Systems Inc., Texas Instruments, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), Lexmark International Inc., ShareWave Inc., NEC, Honeywell, Proxim Inc., Intellon Corp., Echelon Corp, Fujitsu Limited, SHARP Corp., Hitachi Ltd. and AT& T Corp.
Pragmatic Approach to Simple Networking
Universal Plug and Play will make connecting multiple devices in the home easier by building upon existing standards and technologies without requiring consumers to replace the existing device driver infrastructure or adopt one specific networking medium. Some of the advantages of Universal Plug and Play follow:
The result of this pragmatic approach is that implementing Universal Plug and Play requires very little work and an extremely small amount of system resources and footprint. Microsoft will deliver a TCP/IP-based implementation of Universal Plug and Play in 1999.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
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CES Quote Sheet
"We see this initiative accelerating the ability for PC users to easily connect to emerging network devices. Intel is committed to open specifications that unite the industry to expand the use of connected PCs."
- Craig Kinnie
Corporate Vice President and Director of Intel Architecture Labs
"3Com and Microsoft Corp. share a vision of building powerful networks that are simple to use. 3Com, the leader in connecting people to the Internet, combined with Microsoft's leadership in Universal Plug and Play, will help consumers more easily connect computers and intelligent appliances and share resources within the home and beyond."
Vice President and General Manager Home Networking Division
"By extending the Plug and Play model from a single PC to a network of intelligent devices, Universal Plug and Play helps provide the foundation for the next generation of PCs, networkable peripherals and consumer electronics appliances capable of taking advantage of interdevice communication to create usage models that increase the functionality of the devices on the network. Universal Plug and Play will play a key role in the emerging home and small business network, helping enable end users to seamlessly deploy network-ready devices by simply plugging them in."
Group Vice President
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD)
"The dynamic events in the cable, wireless and communications industry will usher in a new wave of consumer devices and services that will require the kind of advanced functionality that Universal Plug and Play represents."
- Glenn T. Edens
Vice President, Broadband Technology
"ATI Technologies supports the Microsoft® Universal Plug and Play initiative and believes building upon open standards will drive the home networking market. ATI is committed to the convergence of computer and consumer electronics technology; Universal Plug and Play's potential to easily connect a variety of 'intelligent' consumer devices will be a key factor in the growth of home-networking solutions that will feature ATI's leading graphics acceleration technology."
Group Product Manager
ATI Technologies Inc.
"Universal Plug and Play is another important step on the road to making network connectivity simple and affordable - concepts that have driven our development efforts from the very beginning. As a leading provider of peripheral connectivity, we welcome Microsoft's initiative and see it as a complement to our ThinServer-powered products. Using familiar Internet standards - such as XML - is a practical approach for dealing with a typically difficult issue - network extensibility. The ability to automatically understand what devices are available and to access their services will give home and business users the freedom to mix and match their peripherals to meet changing application requirements."
Chief Technology Officer
Axis Communications Inc.
"Cisco believes that standards-based, open architectures offer consumers the broadest range of solutions, and we look forward to working with Microsoft and others in this area."
- Robba Benjamin
Vice President and General Manager
Consumer Line of Business
Cisco Systems Inc.
"As the leader in Internet PCs and home networking, Compaq strongly supports Microsoft's Universal Plug and Play initiative; it truly complements our vision of the digitally networked home. With Universal Plug and Play, Compaq's pioneering work on simple, foolproof home networks will be extended in a completely compatible way to exciting new digital devices throughout the home."
Senior Vice President and Group General Manager
Consumer Products Group
Compaq Computer Corp.
"We are pleased to support Microsoft's Universal Plug and Play initiative. Universal Plug and Play will become the driving force behind the new easy-to-use intelligent network, making networking as familiar to tomorrow's users as computing is to today's. Conexant plans to be at the forefront of this exciting new technology."
Senior Vice President and General Manager
Conexant Systems Inc.
"Dell has been active in consumer connectivity for some time with our ConnectDirect broadband initiative with cable and telecommunications suppliers. As broadband connections make high-speed home Internet access a reality, the need for intrahome networking is on the horizon. Microsoft's Universal Plug and Play helps lay the groundwork for simple home networking augmented with high-speed Internet connections."
Dimension Product Group
Dell Computer Corp.
"More and more consumers are searching for ways to easily and affordably connect multiple PCs within the home. Today, we offer the HomeFree brand of home networking products, including phoneline and wireless solutions, that enable consumers to connect their PCs to share resources. Microsoft's launch of Universal Plug and Play is an important step toward expanding the definition of the digitally connected home beyond personal computers to include intelligent appliances."
Vice President and General Manager
Diamond Multimedia Systems Inc.
"By simplifying the way computers and peripherals such as digital cameras communicate with each other, Universal Plug and Play will make it easier for consumers to get and share their pictures - and that's what Kodak is about."
- James Stoffel
Director of R&D, Imaging Equipment and Software
Eastman Kodak Co.
"Microsoft's Universal Plug and Play concept supports Echelon's vision for true end-to-end interoperability and open control networking. Echelon's LonWorks System, including the LonWorks Network Services (LNS) API and ActiveX® control, already support the Windows® operating system and have built-in Internet/IP support to enable seamless integration of data and control networks. LonWorks system's already strong presence in the home, building, industrial and transportation markets is further extended by the Universal Plug and Play concept."
- Bea Yormark
Vice President of Marketing and Sales
"Consumers need the process of installing devices on a network to be as simple as plugging in a lamp. HP's intent in co-developing Universal Plug and Play with Microsoft is to continue to drive simplicity and ease of use for our customers. We expect to implement this exciting new protocol's device discovery mechanism in future HP JetDirect and HP Web JetAdmin products."
Network Peripheral Solutions Division
"We believe the establishment of open standards for Universal Plug and Play will enhance the Home API specification initiative by making devices easier to install and connect to other networks. Together these two initiatives will usher in a new industry helping to provide simpler lives in complicated times. Honeywell is committed to this vision for comfort, convenience and peace of mind."
"Universal Plug and Play is all about providing universal connectivity. Intellon's high-speed communication technology provides connectivity over the most universal media, the AC power line. Microsoft's implementation of our IeOFDM technology and the Universal Plug and Play initiative will combine to bring networking to the widest variety of products and applications."
Vice President of Marketing
"We believe the vision of the Universal Plug and Play technology utilizing open standards is important to the advancement of the industry. Carrying out this vision ties in well with Lexmark's vision for Internet and home appliance printing."
Consumer Printer Division
Lexmark International Inc.
"National Semiconductor strongly supports the Universal Plug and Play initiative. National has been working towards transitioning the 'wired and wireless' networks into a truly ubiquitous connection for PCs and smart consumer devices. The Universal Plug and Play initiative is an exciting and needed step in making networking seamless and will allow for transparent exchange of data between smart devices. This initiative is the next step in providing the needed 'always connected experience' with data on demand anywhere and at any time."
Chairman of the Board, President and CEO
National Semiconductor Corp.
"We believe that Universal Plug and Play will be the best solution for seamless and easy connection between PCs, network peripherals and intelligent consumer appliances."
General Manager of PC Strategic Planning Office
First Personal C&C Operation Unit
"Networks in homes and small businesses are one of the most exciting new technology markets emerging today. Simplicity in installation and usage are critical to fostering this market. Universal Plug and Play will be extremely important in helping make the user experience simple and natural. Proxim will be among the first to support this facility."
Marketing and Sales
"As one of the driving forces behind the recent emergence of home networking, ShareWave has long advocated the vision of a connected home. Microsoft's Universal Plug and Play initiative adds significant momentum to this vision and is a great complement to our ShareWave Digital Wireless home networking technology portfolio. ShareWave strongly supports Microsoft's efforts in this area, and we look forward to working closely with Microsoft to make the Universal Plug and Play initiative a success."
President and CEO
"Texas Instruments [TI] welcomes industry initiatives such as Microsoft's Universal Plug and Play. When combined with TI's Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) solutions and home networking, Universal Plug and Play can greatly simplify and enhance consumers' Internet experience."
Broadband Access Director of Business Development
Microsoft, ActiveX and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
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