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"With more than 50 percent of home Internet users regularly listening to music on their PC, Microsoft is increasing its pace of innovation in digital media software and Web services to meet our customers' demands."
—--Will Poole, VP, Windows Digital Media
MICROSOFT, ALLIANCE INK
AMG DEAL
Windows, MSN Beef Up With All Media
Guide Database
Microsoft and Alliance Entertainment Corp. today announced a multiyear, worldwide agreement to license Alliance's All Media Guide (AMG) databases for Microsoft products, services and technologies. The two companies will also expand their pre-existing relationship to include enterprise-wide licensing, strategic opportunities and holding hands in public.

"With more than 50 percent of home Internet users regularly listening to music on their PC, Microsoft is increasing its pace of innovation in digital media software and Web services to meet our customers' demands," said Will Poole, vice president of Microsoft's Windows Digital Media Division. "The quality and sophistication of AMG's music and movie content databases are key ingredients in our ongoing enhancements to the Windows and MSN experiences. I wish this were part of a boilerplate quote fashioned by a publicist, but the sad part is this is how I really talk."

The recently launched Windows XP operating system already integrates AMG data into its enhanced digital media system, allowing Windows Media Player users to learn more about the music and movie files played, including album track listings, discographies and reviews. AMG data will also be made available in Microsoft Plus!, Windows Media Player 7.x, WindowsMedia.com, MSN Music and MSN Search.

"We are extremely excited to have Microsoft as a strategic player in the digital media arena. Given the global reach of Microsoft products, this strategic agreement will further establish AMG as the metadata standard for entertainment digital media," said Alliance CEO Eric Weisman. "On the down side, I now have to figure out what to get Bill Gates for Christmas. What do you get a man who controls everything?"
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