Disney to Partner With Microsoft on Digital Media Initiatives

The Walt Disney Co. and Microsoft Corp. have signed a multiyear agreement to cooperate on several long-term digital media initiatives to improve the quality, security and reach of digital content within the home and on Microsoft Windows XP-based PCs, as well as on a growing number of home and portable entertainment devices. As part of the agreement, Disney will license Microsoft Windows Media Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology. Disney and Microsoft have identified three areas of joint focus that utilize effective rights management:

* The creation and secure delivery of compelling high-resolution digital content.* The overall acceleration of digital content flow to consumers over networks, on optical media and on devices.* Ensuring the seamless flow of secure content between devices, whether in the home or on portable devices.

Under the agreement, Disney has licensed Microsoft Windows Media DRM software on a non-exclusive basis to enable the seamless delivery of secured digital media over the next several years.

The agreement signifies Disney's continuing commitment to providing new digital media experiences for consumers, and Microsoft's role as a key technology provider for the entertainment industry.

"Disney is dedicated to providing consumers with entertainment content on various platforms, and this agreement with Microsoft helps facilitate those new business initiatives," said Peter Murphy, sr exec vp and chief strategic officer for The Walt Disney Co. "The continuing migration of content from analog to digital formats has exciting implications for both consumers and content owners, and we believe this agreement will accelerate this evolution and bring about a vibrant market for legitimate, high-quality entertainment delivered to new categories of end-user devices, such as personal media players and home media center PCs."

"With technologies now available to bring new experiences to consumers, including high-quality digital movies through a range of secure delivery methods, the time is right for a significant cooperative effort such as this one between Microsoft and Disney to help guide the industry," added Will Poole, svp of Windows Client Business at Microsoft. "Our shared goal is to ensure that consumers will have access to great content on many different devices, including Windows XP Media Center PCs, high-definition TVs or Portable Media Center devices -- without having to worry about compatibility issues. Together we aim to prove that the distribution and consumption of digital media can be done in ways that benefit everyone."

The Walt Disney Co. (www.disney.go.com) is a diversified, international family entertainment and media enterprise with affiliates including Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, The Walt Disney Studios, ABC Inc., ESPN, Disney Channel, Disney Consumer Products, television and radio stations and Walt Disney Internet Group.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (www.microsoft.com) is a worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing.

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