REDMOND, Wash., July 17, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that the final version of Microsoft® Windows Media™ Player 7 will be available for download worldwide at midnight tonight PDT from http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmedia/ and http://WindowsMedia.com/ . The latest release adds even more functionality to the fastest growing and only complete all-in-one media player, integrating new audio-CD-creation technology from Adaptec Inc. and a wide array of new skins and visualizations, including a new "Digital DJ" skin that automates and customizes playback of digital audio and video based on user preferences. Windows Media Player 7 brings digital media to the mainstream for millions of users around the world by offering the easiest-to-use application for their digital media needs.
"The release of Windows Media Player 7 represents a digital turning point for both our industry and millions of consumers around the world," said Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect at Microsoft. "Windows Media Player 7 delivers a unified, easy-to-use player that will break down the barriers to mainstream adoption of digital media."
Windows Media Player 7 Makes Digital Media Easy
With Windows Media Player 7, Microsoft ends confusing user experiences and the need to use multiple products to perform the most common digital media activities. Windows Media Player 7 offers four key areas of innovation for consumers:
All-in-one functionality. With Windows Media Player 7, it is easier than ever to find, organize and play digital audio and video content, whether it is streamed or downloaded, on the Net or in a user's hard drive. Windows Media Player 7 supports CD burning and offers one-click access to a built-in media guide, a user's own media library, CD copying, custom skins and visualizations, a radio tuner, and portable devices.
Best audio and video experience. Windows Media Player 7 plays the industry-leading Windows Media formats for breakthrough audio and video, including near-VHS and near-DVD video and CD-quality audio at half the file size of MP3. Users can customize the sound on their systems with audio enhancement from SRS WOW for a panoramic 3-D sound image and deep, rich bass. Windows Media Player 7 plays legacy MP3 files, too.
Ease of use. Windows Media Player 7 functions are easy to find and easy to use. One click is all it takes to copy CDs or transfer music to a portable music player. Windows Media Player 7 supports more popular portable music players and storage devices than any other media player.
More personality. Windows Media Player 7 can change to match users' moods, with more than 20 interactive and interchangeable skins and eye-catching visualizations that move to the music.
New Features to Enhance the Digital Media Experience
The final version of Windows Media Player 7 incorporates new features to extend the functionality of the player as well as further the PC's role as a source of entertainment. One of these features is built-in support for custom CD creation from Adaptec. Using a CD-R or CD-RW drive and Windows Media Player 7, users can with a single click easily convert digital music, including MP3 and Windows Media files stored on their hard drive, into standard audio CDs for playing on their car or home stereos. With the launch of Windows Media Player 7, more than 20 new skins are available to customize the player's appearance on users' desktops.
The new Digital DJ skin allows Windows Media Player 7 to automatically create playlists from an entire collection of digital music based on preferences set by the user. Users simply tell the Digital DJ what they want to hear, and the skin compiles a list of tracks that conform to the chosen parameters.
Windows Media "Now Playing" Sweepstakes -- Get Windows Media Player 7, Get Cool Content
To celebrate the launch of Windows Media Player 7, the Windows Media "Now Playing" Sweepstakes will launch on http://WindowsMedia.com/ at midnight PDT, July 17 and last for seven days. Visitors can enter* for their chance to win over 1,000 prizes daily including portable music players from S3 and I-Jam, SonicBox iMBand tuners, free broadband access for a year from MSN: The Microsoft Network, SRS WOW Things from SRS Labs, CD-RW drives from Iomega and Philips, DVD players from Harman Kardon and more. Twenty-eight grand prizes include seven trips to anywhere in the world and seven home theater systems. To play, visit WindowsMedia.com and click on the "Now Playing" Sweepstakes feature. A complete list of companies participating in the "Now Playing" Sweepstakes is included below.
In addition to the sweepstakes, top content providers are offering new digital music, movies and videos optimized for Windows Media Player 7. These providers include: Alwaysi.com, AtomFilms, Atomic Pop, Capitol Records, EMI Recorded Music, House of Blues, Kick Media's Movieline, LAUGH.COM, LAUNCH.COM, Lions Gate Films, MediaTrip, Platinum Studios, Raveworld.net, Rollingstone.com, SightSound.com, TVT Records, and Virgin. More great content in the Windows Media Format from over 1,000 content providers is available at WindowsMedia.com, the most popular guide to audio and video on the Internet.
Windows Media Player 7 is available for download beginning at midnight PDT at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmedia/ and http://WindowsMedia.com/ . Windows Media Player 7 is also available on the Windows Update Web site at http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/ . Versions are available for the Microsoft Windows® 98 and Windows 2000 operating systems and is a feature of the Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition. Microsoft is also today releasing Windows Media Player for Macintosh 6.3 and Windows Media Player for Solaris 6.3, bringing industry-leading Windows Media audio and video technology to users of those operating systems.
Windows Media Player 7 is available immediately in French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese and Korean. The following languages will be available over the next 60 days: Hebrew, Arabic, Italian, Brazilian, Swedish, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Portuguese, Czech, Polish, Russian, Hungarian, Greek, Turkish, Slovenian, and Slovak.
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 rights-management solution and the most scalable and reliable streaming technology tested by independent labs. Windows Media Technologies include 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 24 languages, is the fastest-growing media player. More information about Windows Media can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmedia/
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" ) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.
*No purchase necessary. Game ends July 18, 2000. Open to U.S. residents 13 years or older at time of entry. For full rules, see http:www.Microsoft.com/windowsmedia/ .
Microsoft, Windows Media and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
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Addendum: Companies Participating In the Windows Media Player 7 "Now Playing" Sweepstakes