Microsoft, News Corp.'s NDS in Digital TV Alliance

LONDON (03/07/2000) - Microsoft Corp. and News Corp. company NDS Group PLC have formed a joint venture to develop software to support digital television, the companies announced today.

Under the term of the alliance, the companies will license, integrate and jointly upgrade software for Microsoft's TV products, Microsoft and NDS said in a statement. NDS supplies access software and interactive applications based on open standards for digital TV broadcasters and set-top box makers.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The digital television software and Microsoft TV platform will be jointly marketed to network operators, the companies said.

Microsoft and NDS are planning on offering software support for such services as digital programming, advanced television, electronic program guides, information channels and e-commerce support, as well as interactive programming and advertising, the companies said.

The Microsoft TV platform, based on open DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting) and Internet standards, includes software for digital TV devices such as set-top boxes, as well as server software, Microsoft and NDS said.

News Corp., NDS' parent company, run by Rupert Murdoch, is a communications company involved in the production and distribution of motion pictures, television broadcasting and publication of newspapers, magazines and books.

Microsoft and NDS will be holding a joint telephone press conference today at 11 a.m. EST. The number for accessing the conference call within the U.S. is +1-800-550-7368, and within the U.K. is +44-141-567-8830.

Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington, can be reached at +1-425-882-8080, or at http://www.microsoft.com/. News Corp, in New York, can be contacted at +1-212-852-7000, or at http://www.newscorp.com/. NDS, in Middlesex, England, can be contacted at +44-208-476-8000, or at http://www.ndsworld.com/.

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