As reported exclusively this weekend on the WinInformant Web site, Microsoft announced today that it will market its next-generation digital-media technology, code-named Corona, as Windows Media 9 Series. The software suite will include new versions of Windows Media Player (WMP), the Windows Media Audio and Video codecs, Windows Media Encoder, and a new Windows Media software development kit (SDK). Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates will unveil the public beta release of the components on September 4 at a launch event in Los Angeles, the company says.
"Digital media has the potential to redefine the possibilities for new experiences and services over the Internet, in the living room, and in companies around the world," said Will Poole, vice president of the Windows Digital Media Division. "Windows Media 9 Series is designed to deliver the major step forward in functionality and performance the industry needs to realize this potential."
In addition to the software components that make up the Windows Media 9 Series suite, Microsoft also announced that consumer electronics giant Pioneer will support the technology in its upcoming line of Digital Network Entertainment products. The Pioneer line will include playback support for the Windows Media Video (WMV) format, letting users dramatically increase the amount of video content they can store per disk, at little or no discernible loss in quality. Also, users can network the Digital Network Entertainment products to their PCs to access the video content stored on those machines. "Pioneer chose to support Windows Media 9 Series audio and video technology because it clearly demonstrates a shared commitment to create and offer innovative, high-quality home entertainment experiences to consumers," said Bob Niimi, senior vice president of business development for Pioneer's Home Entertainment Division.
For more information about the Windows Media 9 Series, visit the SuperSite for Windows.