Microsoft, Disney partner on digital media

Microsoft and the Walt Disney Co. have struck an alliance that will see the two companies working closely together to develop digital media content and delivery systems, the companies are expected to announce Monday.

While containing little in the way of specifics, the deal solidifies one of the software giant's key Hollywood relationships, which it views as critical to the future of its audio and video software platform. A Microsoft executive said the two companies would be working increasingly close together on topics ranging from high-definition film to digital rights management. "This is really designed so that we will cooperate on digital media initiatives and accelerate the flow of digital content to consumers," said Dave Fester, general manager of Microsoft's Digital Media division. "It builds a great bridge between the technology companies and Hollywood."

Microsoft has put increasing emphasis on its entertainment technology and Hollywood relationships over the past few years, as it envisions a role for the personal computer as the hub of the average home's living room entertainment center. At January's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Bill Gates showed off the latest versions of the company's Media Center, a version of the Windows operating system built particularly for this kind of home theater hub, aimed at letting people store music and movies, and operate with a remote control through their televisions.

News source: C|Net News.com

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