Microsoft Has Bought Minority Stake In WebTV Networks
September 26, 1996

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and WebTV Networks Inc. today announced that the two companies have formed a strategic relationship to cooperate in the development of technologies for delivering Internet content to television. Microsoft also announced today that it has taken a minority equity position in WebTV Networks.

As part of the association, Microsoft and WebTV Networks will collaborate on the development of technologies and related standards for delivering high-quality Internet browsing for display over televisions. WebTV Networks intends to integrate elements of Microsoft Internet Explorer technology, adapted for television display by Microsoft for WebTV Networks, into a future release of the WebTV(TM) browser system. In addition, Microsoft and WebTV Networks will work closely with each other and, with additional third parties and standards organizations, promote the results of the collaboration as accepted extensions to current Internet standards.

"WebTV Networks has clearly established its leadership in delivering Internet content through the television," said David Cole, vice president of the consumer platforms division at Microsoft. "Microsoft's relationship with WebTV Networks demonstrates our commitment to adapting Microsoft Internet Explorer to provide consumers access to the Web through a broad range of communication and entertainment devices. We are confident that we can combine the advantages of Microsoft Internet Explorer with the innovations of WebTV Networks to deliver a compelling Internet experience over the television."

"WebTV Networks is looking forward to a cooperative association with Microsoft," said Steve Perlman, co-founder, president and CEO of WebTV Networks Inc. "The results of combining Microsoft's continual improvements in Web browsing with our leading Internet TV and network technologies should enable millions of consumers to enjoy a high-quality Internet experience through their television sets.

WebTV Networks is the developer of the WebTV set-top box and WebTV Network(SM) service that delivers the Internet through television, acknowledged by industry analysts and national trade and consumer media as the leader in delivering Internet content through the television. WebTV Networks has licensed its technology to Sony Electronics and Philips Consumer Electronics Co., and their respective set-top boxes are available at consumer electronics stores nationwide, with the WebTV Network online service available concurrently.