Drazen Pantic on 15 Jul 2000 16:11:36 -0000

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<nettime> AOL To Use RealNetworks Player


SEATTLE (AP) - America Online Inc. renewed its commitment to RealNetworks
Inc.'s Internet video technology, announcing Thursday it would use the
Seattle company's technologies in a new version of AOL software due out
this fall. 

The deal gives RealNetworks a built-in audience of more than 23 million
AOL members and gives it a jump on rival Microsoft Corp. The Redmond,
Wash.-based software giant plans to install its own Internet media player
on personal computers through the Windows Millennium Edition operating
system, being released this September. 

AOL will use the RealPlayer technology to create its own AOL-branded media
player. RealNetworks' latest software, RealPlayer 8, will also be
distributed through AOL's latest Netscape Navigator browser software as

"This is a really good strategic development for us," said Jeff
Pancottine, RealNetworks' senior vice president for media systems. 

AOL customers will have the latest RealNetworks technologies on their
computers when AOL version 6.0 comes out in the fall. The vast majority of
personal computers have AOL's software pre-installed, and AOL's CD-ROMs
will also carry RealNetworks' software. 

"We have been working with Real for a few years now, and this really made
sense to us," said Wendy Goldberg, vice president of communications for
AOL. "We are always talking to everybody, but this technology really
worked out well for us." 

RealNetworks and Microsoft both make software that allows Internet users
to watch video or listen to audio over the Internet.  RealNetworks has the
biggest share of the Internet audio and video market, which Microsoft has
been trying to chip away at for years. 

The latest version of Microsoft's software, Windows Media Player 7, was
announced this spring and will come out in September.  RealNetworks'
RealPlayer 8 was made available to consumers last month, free to download
from the Internet. 

"And remember, just because there's software within the operating system,
that doesn't mean people use it," said Pancottine. "This is the Internet,
and people can choose which software works best and fits their needs." 

AOL's decision to stay with RealNetworks' technology is unsurprising given
Microsoft's intense rivalry with the online service. Much like its
competition with RealNetworks, Microsoft has tried to break into the
online service market with the Microsoft Network, which has about 3
million members to date. 

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