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Kiwis Quick To Download Windows Media Player 7

For Immediate Release
New Zealand: Friday 26 May 2000

Kiwis Quick To Download Windows Media Player 7

Next-Generation Player Provides First All-In-One Experience For Consumers

AUCKLAND, New Zealand ? Friday, May 26, 2000 ? Microsoft New Zealand says thousands of New Zealanders have downloaded the new beta version of Windows Media? Player 7, which delivers the world's first and fastest all-in-one digital media experience.

Geoff Lawrie, Managing Director Microsoft New Zealand says the technology means New Zealanders are now better equipped to plug into the world via the Internet.

"New Zealanders will now find it far easier and satisfying to watch video and listen to streaming radio and other audio from around the world.

"There's a buzz about this player ? it's the next step in digital media handling; faster and better performance than any other media player, even with tough streaming video.

"People are saying this is the natural successor to MP3 because the Windows Media Audio format offers better sound quality in smaller file sizes.

"Music fans can store twice as much CD-quality music on their PCs and portable devices, with download times reduced by one-half," said Mr. Lawrie.

Windows Media Player 7 lets users enjoy a full range of digital media including playback of CD audio, streaming and download audio and video, jukebox capabilities for CD recording, media management, Internet radio, and more.

Offering a completely redesigned and unified user interface for common digital media activities, Windows Media Player 7 delivers access to the features and content consumers want most, with a single click of a button.

One of the most exciting features of Windows Media Player 7 is the 'Custom Skins', which allow consumers to change the look and feel of their player just as they change their music depending on their mood. These customizable interface designs extend the functionality and fun of Windows Media Player 7 enabling consumers and content providers to create a unique digital media experience.

According to Microsoft New Zealand Marketing Manager, Interactive Media Group, Peter Kingsley: "With this DRM (Digital Rights Management) technology, it is easy for consumers to legitimately obtain digital media files and, in this way, maintain the rights of the content owners.

"This release of Windows Media Rights Manager contains several new advantages for anyone wanting to distribute digital media over the Internet," said Mr. Kingsley.

Windows Media is being adopted by key players in the music and video industry:

EMI: is making 5,000 music videos available in Windows Media format, and is using Windows Media for high profile events like the download of new music from David Bowie and Marcy Playground.

BMG: uses Windows Media for the BMG Artist Showcase, which has featured artists such as Foo Fighters.

Warner Music: uses Windows Media for promotional events featuring downloads of music from artists such as Sugar Ray.

Sony: chose Windows Media as the format for a highly successful Mariah Carey download and "Download 2000" a 10-week series of full-length digital previews being conducted with Launch.com, featuring new songs from Alice In Chains, Roger Waters, Ben Folds Five, Train and Cypress Hill.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software 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.

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Microsoft 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.

For more information, New Zealand media only:

Geoff Lawrie, Managing Director, Microsoft New Zealand, geoffla@microsoft.com

09-3575800

Carol Leishman, Public Relations & Marketing Communications Manager, Microsoft New Zealand, carolle@microsoft.com, 09-3575844 or 021-636 607

Mark Blackham, Porter Novelli New Zealand, mark@porternovelli.co.nz, 04 385 2854 or 021 891 042

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft's corporate information pages.


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