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Emblaze Systems Licenses Windows Media

In a significant move for wireless multimedia, Emblaze Systems announced an agreement with Microsoft Corporation to license the Windows Media Audio and Video Format, using their Emblaze-based solution for video over wireless 2.5G and 3G networks, mobile phones and other handheld devices.

According to Sasson Darwish, president of Emblaze Systems, the deal took seven months of negotiations and should provide a win-win situation for both companies.

Darwish believes that Microsoft will see a faster deployment of its servers across the wireless networks, as they will benefit from Emblaze's ongoing carrier trials. And the inclusion of the Windows Media codecs will allow devices with the Emblaze player to offer backwards compatibility for all the Windows Media content that already exists in the wireline world, as well as MPEG-4.

"We see Emblaze as a critical link in providing experienced systems integration expertise to advance wireless digital media services," said Dave Fester, general manager, Windows Digital Media Division, Microsoft Corp.

Darwish points out that system integration involves not only streaming, but also the ability to provide billing, reporting and QoS. In order to satisfy Microsoft's requirement that its media be served from a Microsoft server, Windows 2000 servers will be deployed as a part of Emblaze Systems' end-to-end solution.

Emblaze states that Windows Media will be incorporated into Emblaze Systems' A2 architecture and software players that allow audio/video playback operation over low-resource devices providing optimal performance with minimal power consumption and CPU usage. Microsoft and Emblaze will jointly promote the co-branded solution to wireless device vendors and carriers worldwide.

"This agreement will combine the strengths of Microsoft's innovation in the delivery of the highest quality audio and video at any bandwidth together with Emblaze Systems pioneering efforts in wireless multimedia technology." said Eli Reifman, CEO of Emblaze Systems, in a statement.

Emblaze has previously struck a licensing agreements with Samsung and Ericsson, and is offering a software player for the Nokia 9210 Communicator. In addition, Darwish expects the Samsung A2-enabled cellular phone to be released onto the Korean consumer market in the coming months.

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