Microsoft ships Windows with Multimedia Extensions 1.0

Business Wire

August 21, 1991

REDMOND, Wash. --Microsoft announced Tuesday that the Microsoft Windows environment with Multimedia Extensions 1.0 is now shipping to OEMs.

The Multimedia Extensions add support for a wide range of multimedia devices and data types including sound, animation, motion video and natural images to the core functionality of Windows, and enable multimedia applications to run on Multimedia PCs.

``Over two years ago, we set out on a mission to build robust multimedia functionality into the Windows environment,'' said Rob Glaser, general manager of the Microsoft multimedia systems group. ``Based on the feedback we've gotten from ISVs, OEMs, and end users, we believe Windows with Multimedia meets that objective and will establish Windows as the premier environment for multimedia applications.''

The shipment of these extensions is an important prelude to the rollout of the first commercially available Multimedia PCs and Multimedia upgrade kits this fall by companies such as Tandy, CompuAdd, MediaVision and Creative Labs. More than a dozen companies have announced products to be available in late 1991 and early 1992. ``The momentum that Windows with Multimedia is building within the industry will give the Multimedia PC platform a fast start in the marketplace,'' said Mike Grubbs, senior marketing director of Tandy Electronics.

Key Version 1.0 Features

Windows with Multimedia provides all the functionality necessary to support sophisticated multimedia applications under Windows. Among the features included are:

-- The Media Control Interface provides a standard, extensible mechanism for supporting a range of time-based media and devices including videodisc and videotape, audio, animation, and digital motion video. The Media Control Interface's extensibility will enable third parties to easily support other multimedia devices. The core of the Media Control Interface was jointly specified by Microsoft and IBM.

-- New end-user accessories including Sound Recorder, Music Box, and Media Player immediately enable users to experience, create and control multimedia elements. HyperGuide provides a graphically based, online help facility for Windows with Multimedia with more than 20,000 links and 3,000 topics. New Control Panel applets ease the process of installing new multimedia devices and accessories.

-- Audio services provide a device-independent interface that developers can use to bring high-fidelity sound to PC applications. Joystick and Timer services provide support for joysticks and high-resolution event timing. A total of 144 new APIs provide support for multimedia functionality using Windows with Multimedia.

``The combination of Microsoft's Multimedia Extensions to Windows and our own Multimedia ToolBook product makes it very easy for professional programmers as well as end users to rapidly build multimedia applications,'' said Bert Kolde, executive vice president of Asymetrix Corp. ``Because it fully supports Microsoft's Multimedia Extensions, especially the Media Control Interface, Multimedia ToolBook has become the leading high-level authoring tool for creating Multimedia applications.''

OLE Provides Instant Multimedia for Productivity Applications

Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) for Windows, defined earlier this year by Microsoft, provides a standard mechanism for media integration. Developers of existing OLE-compatible Windows applications will immediately be able to embed multimedia objects such as sound into their applications without writing a single line of new code. More than 50 top developers plan to support OLE. Among shipping applications that support OLE are Microsoft Excel 3.0 and Lotus Notes 2.0.

Widespread Support From ISVs

More than 1,700 beta-version Multimedia Development Kits (MDKs) have been shipped to programmers and title authors over the past nine months. The MDK facilitates the development of multimedia applications for programmers and title authors by providing a rich set of application programming interfaces (APIs) and development tools.

The Multimedia Viewer provided in the MDK gives content owners and multimedia creators an authoring tool that requires no C programming knowledge. Using the Viewer, multimedia developers can incorporate images, audio and animation to create rich, engaging multimedia titles and applications.

Independent software vendors who have been working with the MDK since November 1990 are expected to release dozens of multimedia titles and applications this fall, with hundreds more titles expected to ship during 1992. The final production release of version 1.0 of the MDK will be shipped in early September. The price for the kit will be $495.

``Windows with Multimedia brings a compelling new set of capabilities to the PC,'' said Frederick Bowes, president of Maxwell Electronic Publishing, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based division of Maxwell Communications Corp. ``The Multimedia Extensions will enable us to add exciting new features to established print products, significantly enhancing the way information can be presented to the end user.'' Maxwell Communications is one of the world's largest communications and information companies, and counts among its holdings Macmillan Publishing Co. and Official Airline Guides Inc.

OEM Support of Windows with Multimedia

The Multimedia PC Marketing Council (a subsidiary of the Software Publishers Association) endorses a specification for a standard multimedia PC platform. Members of the Multimedia PC Marketing Council include: AT&T Computer Systems, CompuAdd Corp., Creative Labs Inc., Fujitsu, Headland Technologies, Media Vision Inc., Microsoft Corp., NEC Technologies Inc., Olivetti, Philips, Tandy Corp. and Zenith Data Systems. The MPC specification endorsed by the Council is designed to create a common hardware and software environment for multimedia applications, using Windows with Multimedia as the core systems software component. OEMs will soon begin shipping both multimedia PCs (MPCs) and upgrade kits for existing PCs. It is estimated that approximately 15 million PCs worldwide are capable of being upgraded to multimedia-compatible platforms.

Windows with Multimedia is licensed to OEMs directly by Microsoft. To obtain more information about Windows with Multimedia, call Microsoft at 206/936-7331. Customers interested in purchasing MDKs should call the following toll- free number, 800/426-9400.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) develops, markets and supports a wide range of software for business and professional use, including operating systems, network products, languages, and applications as well as books, CD-ROM products and hardware for the microcomputer marketplace.

HyperGuide is an electronic user guide (delivered on CD-ROM) and is not related to or associated with Owl International's Guide Program. NOTE: -- Microsoft and the Microsoft logo are registered trademarks and Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corp. -- AMI Professional is a trademark of Samna Corp. -- Guide is a registered trademark of Owl International Inc. -- Lotus is a registered trademark and Notes is a trademark of -- Lotus Development Corp. -- ToolBook is a registered trademark of Asymetrix Corp. Price listed is U.S suggested retail price.

CONTACT: Microsoft Corp., Redmond Marty Taucher, 206/882-8080 For General Sales and Product Information, 800/426-9400 or Waggener Edstrom, Portland Ray Berardinelli, 503/245-0905 21:00 ET

Copyright (c) 1991, Business Wire