RealTime IT News

MS' Windows Media Audio Wins New Licensees

Microsoft Corp. , looking to showcase the building momentum of its Windows Media Audio (WMA) technology among audio chip makers and digital media consumers, unveiled eight new licensing customers at Streaming Media Japan 2002 Thursday.

Among the firms which said they are licensing the Windows Media Format for their devices are MCS Logic Inc., MediaTek Inc., NEC Corp., Oki Electric Industry Co. Ltd., Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd., SigmaTel Inc., Sunplus Technology Co. Ltd., and Toshiba Corp. The firms said they will use the technology in a range of devices in the coming year, from CD players to car stereos, portable audio players and wireless handsets.

Microsoft said the new customer wins mean that more than 120 device types now support Windows Media, and that the worldwide installed base of consumer devices supporting the technology will reach 27 million by the end of 2002.

"Windows Media Audio, which offers high-quality playback, exceptionally small file sizes and built-in security, continues to gain momentum among digital media consumers and content providers," said Susan Kevorkian, research analyst with IDC. "Supporting playback of WMA-encoded music is an important way for hardware manufacturers to continue to offer relevant, flexible consumer electronic devices."