Reprinted from a Microsoft press release:

REDMOND, Wash. – July 15, 2002 – Microsoft Corp. today announced the official name for its next-generation digital media platform, Windows Media 9 Series, formerly code-named Windows Media “Corona.” Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates will launch the public beta release of the entire Windows Media 9 Series platform in Los Angeles at the Hollywood and Highlands Complex on Wednesday, Sept. 4. Showcasing new versions of Windows Media Player, a new streaming server, new audio and video compression, a new encoder and a new software development kit, Windows Media 9 Series will offer a dramatically improved playback experience, unmatched audio and video quality, and the most complete platform for enabling a whole new range of digital media solutions.

Microsoft also announced today the Windows Media 9 Series Technical Summit, a two-day development and deployment conference, will be held Sept. 5-6 at the same location following the beta launch event.

“Digital media has the potential to redefine the possibilities for new experiences and services over the Internet, in the living room and in companies around the world,” said Will Poole, vice president of the Windows(r) Digital Media Division at Microsoft. “Windows Media 9 Series is designed to deliver the major step forward in functionality and performance the industry needs to realize this potential.”

Powering the Next Wave of Digital Media: Windows Media 9 Series

Windows Media 9 Series will power the next wave of digital media, delivering an instant-on, always-on streaming experience to broadband PC users and dramatic quality, speed and experience improvements for dial-up users. New professional-level audio and video codecs will provide unsurpassed quality at all bit rates and enable home-theater quality audio and video for broadband PC users. New efficiency will make it commonplace for enterprises to use streaming to improve their organizations’ corporate communications and training. Windows Media 9 Series also will improve the economics of streaming for Internet content providers, and empower application developers and IT professionals to customize digital media solutions with a platform offering dramatic extensibility innovations. The public beta versions of Windows Media 9 Series components will be available Sept. 4 and include new versions of Windows Media Player, Windows Media Audio and Video codecs, Windows Media Encoder and a new Windows Media Software Development Kit (SDK).

Windows Media 9 Series Technical Summit

Microsoft also announced today the Windows Media 9 Series Technical Summit, a two-day development and deployment conference, will be held Sept. 5-6. The Windows Media 9 Series Technical Summit will provide content producers, IT professionals and application developers with an opportunity to learn in depth about the dramatic improvements and new opportunities offered by the Windows Media 9 Series platform. Information and registration for the event is available at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmedia/wmsummit/.

Widespread Industry Support for Windows Media 9 Series

Since Windows Media 9 Series was unveiled last December, Microsoft has seen rapid and broad industry adoption of the technology from the leading makers of chips for DVD players and graphics cards, professional video acquisition and audio production software and hardware developers, and the independent film community. More information about the broad range of companies that have already announced and demonstrated support for Windows Media 9 Series can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/press/prcorona.asp.

About Windows Media

Windows Media is the leading digital media platform, providing unmatched audio and video quality to consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations. Windows Media offers the industry’s only integrated digital rights management solution and the most scalable and reliable streaming technology tested by independent labs. Windows Media Technologies includes Windows Media Player for consumers, Windows Media Services for servers, Windows Media Tools for content creation and the Windows Media Software Development Kit for software developers. Windows Media Player, available in 26 languages, is the fastest-growing and now leading media player. More information about Windows Media can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmedia/.

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