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Microsoft Releases Player for Pocket PCs

Microsoft (www.microsoft.com), announced the availability of the Technology Preview Edition of the Windows Media Player for Pocket PCs, at the opening of the Comdex show. This edition of the Windows Media Player is capable of receiving streaming audio and video, assuming there is available wireless bandwidth.

Microsoft is currently demonstrating the technology using the Metricom Ricochet wireless network and Sierra Wireless Aircard 400 modem to stream both audio and video to a Pocket PC. Although Las Vegas is not normally on the Metricom network, the company created special infrastructure to support the show.

The player can currently be downloaded for the Compac iPaq and will be released for the HP and Casio Pocket PC models within a few months. The final version will be released sometime next year. The Technology Preview edition is also capable of audio and video playback (at rates from 16 Kbps to 256 Kbps) that has already been downloaded onto the Pocket PC. Windows Media also offers a player for palm-size PCs that is capable of local audio playback.

Technology Preview Edition works with Microsoft Windows Media Services in Windows 2000 Server to enable wireless streaming solutions and is compatible with IRDA, serial and 802.3 Ethernet, as well as new high-speed wireless networks including 802.11 wireless Ethernet (11 MB per second.)

"Consumers want their audio and video to be both mobile and delivered to them whenever they want," said Dave Fester, general manager of the Digital Media Division of Microsoft, in a press release.

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