MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (January 31, 1996) -- Netscape Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: NSCP) today announced Netscape LiveMedia, a standards-based framework for bringing real-time audio and video to the Netscape open software platform. As the cornerstone of its new framework, Netscape announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire InSoft, Inc., a leader in network-based communications and collaborative multimedia software for the enterprise.
InSoft's applications include Communique! for desktop collaboration and videoconferencing, InSoft Network Television or INTV! for distributed digital video, and CoolTalk and CoolView for Internet audio, video and data communications on Windows, Windows95 and UNIX based platforms. Netscape plans to use InSoft's technology to create the Netscape LiveMedia framework, which it plans to make a standard component in future Netscape clients, servers and tools. Netscape LiveMedia framework will enable users to have easier access to new Internet applications such as audio and video on-demand, real-time video conferencing and Internet telephony.
In addition, eleven technology-leading companies announced plans to support Netscape LiveMedia, which is based on open standards and interfaces that will enable Netscape and third-party real-time audio and video products to interoperate. Companies that announced their support are Progressive Networks, Adobe Systems, Digital Equipment Corp., Macromedia, NetSpeak, OnLive!, Precept, Silicon Graphics, Inc., VDOnet, VocalTec and Xing. The Netscape LiveMedia framework will be based on the Internet Realtime Transport Protocol (RTP), RFC number 1889, and other open audio and video standards such as MPEG, H.261 and GSM to enable products from these and other companies to work together seamlessly, providing users with a range of real-time audio and video capabilities on the Internet. Netscape will publish the LiveMedia framework on the Internet, openly license key technology components of it, and work with the Internet standards bodies to facilitate the adoption of this technology as a formal Internet standard.
"By integrating InSoft's technology within our existing software architectures, we can extend the Netscape software platform into a foundation for real-time Internet and Intranet communications," said Jim Barksdale, president and CEO of Netscape. "Through this agreement with InSoft, Netscape will also gain InSoft's great team of people who bring best-of-breed expertise in delivering real-time audio/video applications to the enterprise."
"The Internet is a strategic component of our open, enterprise approach to collaborative multimedia," said Dan Harple, chairman and CEO of InSoft. "Real-time multimedia collaboration helps to bring people together across a network, a goal that both Netscape and InSoft share. Without question, we are extremely excited about joining the Netscape team and helping to develop the Netscape LiveMedia framework."
Netscape intends to purchase 100 percent of InSoft, a privately held company, for 1.96 million shares of Netscape stock (adjusted to include the Netscape stock split), to be accounted for as a pooling of interests. The deal is expected to close on or before March 31, 1996.
InSoft, Inc., located in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, was founded in 1992 by Dan Harple and Rich Pizzarro to develop and market collaborative multimedia software products for the expanding desktop workstation market. The company currently employs 71 people. InSoft's OpenDVE Collaborative Multimedia Framework enables cross-platform collaboration between PCs and UNIX workstations, transparent connectivity between a wide range of networks, and interoperability between a range of video offerings.
Netscape plans to integrate InSoft's products in two phases. In the first phase, the combined companies will develop the LiveMedia framework and continue to promote InSoft's OpenDVE software architecture and development toolkits; Communique!, INTV!, CoolTalk and CoolView applications, and the GlobalConference telecommunications gateway. In the second phase later in 1996, Netscape plans to integrate InSoft's real-time audio and video capabilities into future versions of Netscape Navigator and Netscape servers. In addition, Netscape expects that third-party developers will offer a wide variety of add-on audio and video products based on the LiveMedia framework.
Netscape also announced today that it has signed an agreement with Voxware, Inc., to license that company's compression/decompression (codec) technology to plug into the Netscape LiveMedia framework. Codecs from other companies can also be incorporated into the extensible framework.
Voxware, Inc. is a privately-held developer of advanced voice processing software, based in Princeton, NJ. Voxware's ToolVox digital voice technology enables high-quality, real-time voice communication across the Web, while requiring only 2400 bps of bandwidth. Using the ToolVox cross-platform encoder and player software, developers can compress voice 53:1; download or stream voice files in real time and add a variety of voice effects. This combination of compression and quality simplifies adding voices to the Web. This technology will help to provide widespread, reliable voice delivery to any user with a Web connection. The incorporation of the Voxware codec in LiveMedia is an example of how this modular framework can accommodate technologies from various companies.
"We're delighted that our agreement with Netscape will make ToolVox a key component of the core technology framework for Netscape LiveMedia," said Michael Goldstein, president and CEO of Voxware. "We look forward to working together to make real-time voice communications a natural and everyday part of every Web user's experience."
"Enabling users to communicate and work together from any location -- and in real time -- extends the Internet's power and reach to a new level," said Marc Andreessen, vice president of technology at Netscape. "The Netscape LiveMedia framework will make a number of real-time audio and video applications available to Internet users. InSoft and Voxware are important to Netscape's strategy to deliver products based on LiveMedia, and we will work with the technology-leading companies who are supporting this interoperable approach to make real-time audio and video applications an immediate reality."
Netscape LiveMedia represents a commitment to open Internet-supported protocols and content definitions that transcend any single vendor, including Netscape. Vendors adopting the LiveMedia Internet standards will be able to offer products that interoperate with other LiveMedia compatible products, making it easy for users to take advantage of real-time audio and video capabilities on the Internet.
Netscape Communications Corporation is a premier provider of open software for linking people and information over enterprise networks and the Internet. The company offers a full line of Netscape Navigator clients, Netscape servers, development tools and Netscape Internet Applications to create a complete platform for next-generation, live online applications. Traded on Nasdaq under the symbol "NSCP", Netscape Communications Corporation is based in Mountain View, California.
Additional information on Netscape Communications Corporation is available on the Internet at http://home.netscape.com, by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 415-528-2555. Information on InSoft, Inc. is available on the Internet at http://www.insoft.com or by calling 717-730-9501. Further information on Voxware is available at http://www.voxware.com.
Netscape Communications, the Netscape Communications logo, Netscape Navigator, Netscape LiveMedia, Netscape and Netscape Internet Applications are trademarks of Netscape Communications Corporation. All other product names are trademarks of their respective owners.
SUPPORT FOR NETSCAPE LIVEMEDIA
"With over 3,000,000 users and over 25,000 downloads a day, RealAudio is by far the leading audio-on-demand technology on the Internet," said Rob Glaser, CEO at Progressive Networks. "We are pleased to expand our existing close relationship with Netscape to include support for the Internet Realtime Transport Protocol and LiveMedia. By working together, Netscape and Progressive Networks can bring interoperable audio-on-demand to the largest possible Internet community."
"Adobe intends to support the Netscape LiveMedia framework and welcomes the opportunity to participate in the definition of the corresponding data standards for Internet content," said John Kunze, vice president of Adobe graphics and publishing products. "Supporting these standards in our industry-leading authoring products, like Adobe Premiere, will provide our customers with state-of-the-art solutions for delivering multimedia content in real-time over the Internet."
"Our customers are extending their business use of the Internet to include audio and video applications," said Rose Ann Giordano, vice president of Digital's Internet Business Group. "These multimedia applications are ideally suited for the speed and performance of Digital's 64-bit AlphaSystems architecture."
"We are excited that Netscape is quickly defining and implementing LiveMedia audio and video standards that Macromedia can exploit," said Bud Colligan, president and CEO at Macromedia. "We have been one of Netscape's early plug-in supporters, and we intend to move rapidly to support LiveMedia audio and video across the Macromedia Studios Internet Shockwave-enabled product line."
"As a state-of-the-art supplier of Internet telephony products, NetSpeak is excited to be part of the LiveMedia initiative," said Steve Cohen, CEO at NetSpeak. "Future versions of our ground breaking WebPhone will support the Netscape LiveMedia protocols allowing WebPhone users to call anyone on the network with a LiveMedia compatible product."
"OnLive! looks forward to applying Netscape's open LiveMedia technologies to the exciting new area of 3D Voice Chat and real-time conferencing on the Internet," said Betsy Pace, CEO at OnLive! "We will support LiveMedia RTP."
"As a leading developer for real-time products which are already based on the RTP protocol standard, we are delighted that Netscape chose to use the same architecture for LiveMedia that we chose for our products," said Judy Estrin, CEO at Precept. "We will work closely with Netscape to ensure our FlashWare protocols and Internet TV product thrive in the LiveMedia environment."
Corporate Sales: 415/528-2555; Personal Sales: 415/528-3777
Copyright © 1996 Netscape
If you have any questions, please visit Customer Service.
Copyright © 1996 Netscape Communications Corporation