Windows Media 9 Series in Windows Server 2003 Delivers 300 Terabytes of Streaming Audio and Video for Leading Web Sites and Subscription Services
March 27, 2003
Deployments Include CinemaNow, Fox's "American Idol," FullAudio, MSNBC.com, NHL.com, NPR and pressplay Hosting Providers Deployed Include Akamai Technologies Inc., Globix Corp., Limelight Networks Inc., Loudeye Corp., Nine Systems Corp., Speedera Networks Inc., SyncCast And VitalStream Inc.

REDMOND, Wash., March 28, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today announced a broad range of customers and organizations that have deployed the Windows Media® 9 Series streaming server in Windows® Server 2003 and have collectively delivered 300 terabytes of streaming audio and video using the new server. These customers are already delivering their most-valued news, sports, music and film content from major networks, sports leagues, record labels and movie studios, and are reaping the benefits of the high-quality engineering in Windows Server 2003 using prerelease versions.

"Our goal in designing Windows Media Services 9 Series in Windows Server 2003 was to improve the economics of streaming for our customers by delivering more streams per server, and to create a breakthrough experience for streaming audio and video on the Web," said Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. "The breadth of companies using this server technology with prerelease versions says volumes about how our customers can do more with less using Windows Media 9 Series in Windows Server 2003."

A key benefit of Windows Media Services 9 Series in Windows Server 2003 is its ability to provide Fast Streaming, which offers a more-television-like experience with instant-on, always-on streaming audio and video for broadband users, and significant performance improvements for dial-up users. This means that broadband consumers can get near-instant responsiveness when streaming, whether they are watching breaking news, listening to music, watching movies or enjoying sports programs.

Companies and organizations deploying Windows Media 9 Series and Windows Server 2003 today include the following:

  • CinemaNow , a leading provider of video pay-per-view and subscription services on demand, is using Windows Server 2003 to deliver a film library containing more than 3,000 feature-length films from more than 100 licensers including Warner Bros., Lions Gate Entertainment and others. Windows Media 9 Series allows viewers to download and stream CinemaNow's large library of Hollywood and independent films with superior quality and throughput. More than 1 million unique users per month are accessing the site.

  • Fox Broadcasting's official Web site for "American Idol" ( http://www.idolonfox.com/ ) got more than 6.5 million page views in the first two days after its debut in January. The site has offered all its streaming audio and video content in Windows Media Audio and Video 9, hosted by Speedera's global network of servers running Windows Server 2003.

  • FullAudio, a leading digital music subscription service with more than 200,000 songs from the five major labels, this week is launching a new service called Music Now. The new service is running on Windows Server 2003 hosted by Akamai. It will allow subscribers to listen to channels of premium radio stations or to play relevant content on demand, including hit singles, programmed bundles of music called "TrackPaks," and entire albums and collections by leading artists. Content will be available for purchase, transfer to portable devices and burning to CDs.

  • MSNBC.com, the leading news site on the Web, has been offering all its audio and video news feeds using Windows Media 9 Series and Windows Server 2003 since last summer. In that time, it has delivered nearly 125 million video streams with the new server.

  • NHL.com for the past six months has offered a video subscription service for daily NHL hockey game highlights and historic great moments using Windows Media Audio and Video 9 on Windows Server 2003, hosted by Speedera and Nine Systems Corp.

  • NPR (National Public Radio) is using Windows Media Audio 9 and Windows Media Audio 9 Voice with Windows Server 2003 to deliver its newscasts and to stream 10 of its most popular news and information programs via its NPR.org Web site. The programs include Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Fresh Air With Terry Gross, Talk of the Nation, All Songs Considered and others.

  • pressplay , a leading online music service, offers more than 250,000 songs that can be streamed, downloaded, burned to CDs and transferred to portable music players. pressplay has been using the new Fast Streaming technology in Windows Media 9 Series and Windows Server 2003 since September 2002 to virtually eliminate buffering of streaming audio for users. pressplay also offers a variety of top programming features, including Radio pressplay, music exclusives, track previews, recommendations and access to Billboard's legendary chart data going back to 1955.

Microsoft also announced today that many of the largest hosting providers in the United States are serving customers with this technology, including Akamai Technologies Inc., Globix Corporation Inc., Limelight Networks, Loudeye Corp., Nine Systems Corp., Speedera Networks Inc., SyncCast and VitalStream Inc. Each has already made significant deployments of Windows Media 9 Series and the prerelease version of Windows Server 2003 for hosting Windows Media 9 Series content.

For example, SyncCast is delivering more than 10 terabytes of audio and video streams per month using Windows Media 9 Series and Windows Server 2003, dramatically changing the economics for its hosting business.

"Since upgrading our network in October to Windows Media 9 Series and Windows Server 2003, we have experienced a two- to three-fold increase in server performance," said Lance Ware, CEO of SyncCast. "We can now serve multiple customers off a single server in a way that was not possible with previous technology, and the new programmability of the server lets us create new levels of service for customers that are already helping us win new business."

More information about these companies is available at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/9series/server/partners.aspx .

About Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2003 is a comprehensive, integrated and secure infrastructure designed to help customers reduce costs and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of IT operations. Building on Windows 2000 family strengths, the new server platform helps customers extend existing resources while laying the foundation for building a new generation of connected applications that improve business productivity. More information is available at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/ .

About Microsoft

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.

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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