News Release

Cisco, Intel and Microsoft Join Forces to Accelerate the Use of Networked Multimedia in Business

Three industry leaders unite to break barriers for multimedia in business, establish standards and collaborate on open testing and marketing of intranet solutions
Mar 12, 1997

LOS ANGELES -- INTERNET WORLD -- March 12, 1997 -- Cisco Systems,Inc., Intel Corporation and Microsoft Corporation today announced the Networked Multimedia Connection (NMC), a cooperative program tofacilitate the widespread adoption of networked multimedia applicationsin businesses using intranets and the Internet. The NMC is dedicated tomaking it easier for developers to create applications such asinteractive learning, rich information publishing and video conferencingand for businesses to deploy them this year. Through the NMC, the threecompanies will provide support and resources for multimedia applicationsdevelopers, service providers and corporate information technology (IT)managers, collaborate on the development of networked multimediatechnologies, and implement and promote industry standards.

"This alliance signals that the networked computing age will be moreabout industry cooperation than industry fragmentation," noted DonListwin, senior vice president of Market Development for Cisco Systems. "We're pleased to work with leaders in other parts of the industry tomake business better for developers and life simpler for our end users."

The three companies' common vision -- to make networked multimedia abusiness-critical application -- stems from their belief that mixed mediacan provide people greater access to information, resources and eachother. Networked multimedia extends computer communication beyondstatic text and graphics into a richer environment of dynamic sight andsound that models the way people communicate with each other in theireveryday lives. Opportunities for businesses to increase effectivenessand save time and money abound in such areas as distance learning anddesktop conferencing.

"For the last 18 months, Intel has been working with market leaders tobring networked multimedia applications to market," said D. CraigKinnie, Intel vice president and general manager of Intel Internet andCommunications Group. "The market's interest and enthusiasm tell us thetime is right to enable a broad range of vendors to build upon the richmultimedia capabilities of the Connected PC."

"We believe that Cisco, Intel and Microsoft together can help makemultimedia, over intranets and the Internet, a business-criticaltechnology in 1997," said David Cole, vice president, Internet clientand collaboration division, Microsoft Corporation. "As the centerpieceof our networked multimedia strategy, Microsoft NetShow 2.0 complementsthe breadth of Microsoft software platforms such as Windows NT Server,Internet Information Server, Internet Explorer and NetMeeting. Theunique strengths that each organization brings to the table provide anideal combination that will make audio, video and other media invaluablecomponents of everyday computer communication."

Support for Developers and Corporate Customers

To speed the development of networked multimedia applications and theirdeployment in 1997, Cisco, Intel and Microsoft are working closely withthe independent software vendors (ISVs), Internet service providers(ISPs), system integrators and value-added resellers (VARs), and thecorporate IT organizations that supply end users with computingsolutions. The three companies will be offering:

  • The Networked Multimedia Lab -- A complete end-to-end networkedmultimedia facility for development and interoperability testing,located at Cisco headquarters, is scheduled to open by the end of themonth.

  • Tool Kits -- Comprehensive management tools and deployment services aimedat speeding adoption by IT services will be available in conjunctionwith the Lab. These NMC tool kits will include SDKs from the threecompanies, sample code, utilities and hyperlinks, and documentation.

  • Technical Support -- Technical consultations will be available to programparticipants from staff from all three companies.

Support for Industry Standards

The NMC believes the establishment and adoption of networked multimediastandards are key to the success of its combined effort. Together, thethree companies are working to establish related technologies asstandards with the IETF, ITU and other international bodies. Standardsthe three companies support include IP Multicast, a definition forsending one copy of information to many recipients over a network; theITU H.323 standard, which defines how PCs can share audio and video dataover computer networks; and the ReSource reserVation Protocol (RSVP),which provides a means for networks to support special quality ofservice applications. The NMC will work jointly within the standardsprocess to develop and implement other open standards to make newnetworked multimedia applications possible and to overcome barriers totheir deployment.

Delivering Leadership Technologies

The NMC collaboration recognizes -- and amplifies -- each company'sessential contribution to the overall networked multimediainfrastructure. Those contributions include:

  • Networking Products -- Cisco networking hardware and Cisco IOS(TM)software delivering network services that enable multimedia applications

  • Intel Architecture PCs and Internet Technologies -- Intel's ProShare(TM)software implementation of key standards, including H.323, RSVP andActive RTP, which catalyzed networked multimedia development, plusIntel's own products: Pentium(R) and Pentium(R) Pro processors, MMX(TM)technology and ProShare(TM) video conferencing.

  • Latest Software and Platforms -- Microsoft's networked multimediaplatforms, including NetShow 2.0 multimedia broadcast software,NetMeeting conferencing and collaboration software and InternetExplorer, plus powerful operating systems, Windows* NT Server, Windows95 and Internet Information Server

Broad Industry Support

More than 20 companies have demonstrated support for the NMC. Theseleading ISPs and ISVs participated in the first networked multimediadesign seminar, sponsored by the NMC, on March 5 and 6. This firstdesign seminar provided information on the objectives of the NetworkedMultimedia Connection and a host of resources to bring the networkedmultimedia community together.


Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, is also a leading manufacturer ofpersonal computer, networking and communications products. Throughinnovative technologies, Intel is committed to improving the Internetexperience for PC consumers. Additional information is available


Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is the worldwide leader insoftware for personal computers. The company offers a wide range ofproducts and services for business and personal use, each designed withthe mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to takeadvantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. News andinformation are available at

# # #

Cisco IOS is a trademark, and Cisco, Cisco Systems, and theCisco logo are registered trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. in the U.S. and certain other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.