Microsoft Signs OpenCable™ Agreement
Will Work to Enhance OCAP™ with .NET Technology and Development Tools
Louisville, Colorado, June 5, 2003—CableLabs® today announced that Microsoft Corporation has signed an agreement with CableLabs under which Microsoft has agreed to contribute pertinent intellectual property rights to the OpenCable™ project, including the OpenCable Application Platform (OCAP™) software project.
In addition, Microsoft and CableLabs have agreed to work together to explore the potential of adding .NET common language infrastructure (CLI) to a future version of OCAP. To date, CableLabs has issued OCAP versions 1.0 and 2.0. The addition of .NET would facilitate a common runtime between a variety of computing devices including set-top boxes and PCs, making home entertainment networking simpler and more compelling to the consumer and creating expanded opportunities for cable operators. As a first step in the process, Microsoft expects to demonstrate its Microsoft TV software solution with OCAP 1.0 and .NET applications coexisting on the same set-top box at Cable 2003 next week in Chicago.
OCAP is a middleware software layer specification that enables the developers of interactive television services and applications to design such products so that they will run successfully on any cable television system in North America, independent of set-top or television receiver hardware or operating system software choices.
The discussions with Microsoft will include how .NET could extend functionality beyond these two OCAP versions while maintaining backward compatibility. It is anticipated that any new functionality will add capability to the OpenCable Application Platform but maintain backward compatibility with OCAP versions 1.0 and 2.0. Microsoft will also be adding features in its industry leading Visual Studio® .NET software tool to support development of OCAP presentation layer applications synchronized with the OCAP 2.0 release.
�Microsoft is pleased to work with CableLabs and its member cable operators to explore enhancing the functionality of OCAP with .NET,� said Moshe Lichtman, Corporate Vice President of the Microsoft TV Division at Microsoft. �We�re excited at the opportunity to bring new value to this important industry activity.�
OCAP is part of the OpenCable™ initiative, which is managed by CableLabs. OpenCable is designed to provide a set of industry specifications that will help: (1) Define next-generation consumer digital devices; (2) Encourage supplier competition, and (3) Create a retail hardware platform.
�Expanding the capabilities of OCAP with new technologies while maintaining backward compatibility is critical to the success of digital cable overall,� said Dr. Richard R. Green, President and CEO of CableLabs. �We are pleased that Microsoft has signed the OpenCable IPR agreement. We look forward to determining how expanding the options available to OCAP developers to include .NET in addition to Java and HTML can help to ensure a thriving market for new digital cable applications.�
About CableLabs: Cable Television Laboratories (www.cablelabs.com) was founded in 1988 by members of the cable television industry. A non-profit research and development consortium, CableLabs delivers innovations that enable cable operators to be the providers of choice in their markets. Cable operators from around the world are members. CableLabs maintains additional web sites at www.cablenet.org and www.ebif.tv.
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