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.