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MICROSOFT EMBRACES REALAUDIO AND VIDEO STREAMING

Video and audio streaming technology company Progressive Networks Inc yesterday won Microsoft Corp as both a licensee and an investor. Redmond is licensing both RealAudio and RealVideo 4.0 technologies for inclusion in its NetShow streaming server, which will become part of Microsoft Site Server. The two companies are going to work together to develop the two technologies and to cement the deal still further. Microsoft has taken a non-voting minority stake in the company, the size of which has not been disclosed. Microsoft needs the Progressive technology to provide as broad as possible a base of content for its streaming server. But Redmond never likes having to use other people’s technology for long – unless it buys the company – and Progressive has agreed to natively support Microsoft’s Active streaming format (ASF) standard in the next release of its technology, and Redmond will reciprocate with its technology. Progressive has agreed to incorporate Microsoft’s DirectShow and DirectDraw is in the next versions of its clients, and Redmond will sell Progressive’s EasyStart RealAudio and RealVideo Server 2.0 until it comes up with a compatible product. Progressive Networks, is a closely held private company based just down the road from Redmond in Seattle.

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CBR Staff Writer

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