REDMOND, WA and BEDMINSTER, NJ — Microsoft Corp. and Verizon Wireless today announced that Verizon Wireless, the nation's leading wireless provider, has chosen the Microsoft® Windows Media® Format to power V CAST, the nation's first 3G consumer wireless broadband multimedia service, delivered over Verizon Wireless' high-speed 3G EV-DO (Evolution-Data Optimized) network. Starting Feb. 1, Verizon Wireless V CAST customers can stream and play back exciting audio and video clips using Windows Media, the highest-quality digital media format available for streaming and download-and-play applications. Using technology from Microsoft, PacketVideo and thePlatform for Media Inc., V CAST customers can enjoy the first-of-its-kind wireless broadband entertainment experience in the nation.
"During customer sneak previews of V CAST in Washington, D.C., and San Diego, Verizon Wireless customers were very impressed with the high quality, clarity and consistency of the video clips they viewed with Windows Media," said John Stratton, vice president and chief marketing officer of Verizon Wireless. "The compression and quality benefits of Windows Media combined with the reach and capability of our 3G EV-DO network are allowing us to deliver the premier wireless multimedia entertainment service available today."
"We are excited that Verizon Wireless chose Windows Media to power V CAST, which sets the standard for wireless multimedia services in the United States," said Amir Majidimehr, corporate vice president of the Windows® Digital Media Division at Microsoft. "Video clips on V CAST are consistently streamed at 15 frames per second, capturing the graceful pass of a tiny football among a myriad of players, or a weatherman showing storm cloud movements on a geographical map. The advent of this dynamic service highlights Microsoft's leadership and commitment in providing its partners with the best technologies for audio and video playback over wireless networks."
V CAST wireless multimedia content will be available to Verizon Wireless customers in the Get It Now® virtual store for $15 monthly access, in addition to their regular Verizon Wireless calling plan.
"Microsoft worked closely with experienced partners, including thePlatform and PacketVideo, to deliver a complete end-to-end solution from the handset player to the infrastructure," said Neil Sharma, business development manager in the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft.
On Feb. 1, Verizon Wireless customers will be able to access V CAST on three new phones: the LG VX8000 from LG Mobile Phones, the SCH-a890 from Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung) and the CDM-8940 from UTStarcom Personal Communications. The phones come preloaded with PacketVideo's media player and content catalog for consistent user experience and ease of navigation. The PacketVideo player, built with integrated Windows Media playback, features an easy-to-use interface that allows users to rewind or fast-forward streams, download clips for local playback, and effortlessly navigate between video segments.
By capitalizing on the comprehensive functionality of thePlatform media publishing system, Verizon Wireless can easily aggregate video for delivery over the V CAST service. thePlatform media publishing system also will enable V CAST subscribers to set preferences for their favorite content, receive SMS alerts as new content becomes available, and view new video clips within their favorite genres. thePlatform also enables V CAST users to receive a summary of their video purchases through their monthly statement.
About Windows MediaWindows Media is the leading digital media platform, providing unmatched audio and video quality to consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations. Windows Media offers the industry's only integrated rights-management solution and the most scalable and reliable streaming technology tested by independent labs. Windows Media Technologies includes Windows Media Player for consumers, Windows Media Services for servers, Windows Media Tools for content creation, and the Windows Media Software Development Kit (SDK) for software and hardware developers. Windows Media Player, available in 26 languages, is the fastest-growing media player. More information about Windows Media can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia.
About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 42.1 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, N.J., Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at http://www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
About MicrosoftFounded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Microsoft, Windows Media and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Get It Now is a registered trademark of Verizon Wireless.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
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. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft's Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.asp.####