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Microsoft Media

The Redmond software behemoth that controls your computer will soon be controlling the information flowing through it as well. Will media be the key to Microsoft's domination of the next decade, or will it be the boondoggle that drags Bill down?

After the Internet snuck up and bit them on the ass, Microsoft scrambled to play catch up by attaching Net access tools to its existing suite of products. Now that they've got a solid distribution channel (Microsoft Network) and own a host of media titles (not least of which is Encarta, the best-selling encyclopedia in the world), Microsoft is convinced it's a player in the world of new media.

"As growth in old media such as television, books, movies, and magazines levels off, interactive media is the only realm where analysts are predicting giddy growth rates reminiscent of the early PC business," writes Denise Caruso in her article in the June issue of Wired. [Bobcam]

For now, Microsoft is making inroads into every possible media category and they have the disposable capital to ride out whatever turns the market takes. The next 18 months will reveal the direction that interactive media takes, but it's a safe bet that Microsoft will end up on the right path, if not leading the way.

Image: James Porto

[4.06 Cover]
June 1996

Microsoft Media
From code geeks to content kings

Inside the shrine of the steel ball

Your face in cyberspace

Jhane Barnes
Techie textile designer

Paul Romer
Inserting new ideas into the economic equation

Daniel Bernstein
Fighting the Feds to ship his cryptography

Maja Mataric
Teaching robots to cooperate

The Computer Museum
When vacuum tubes ruled the world

The Netizen
Campaigning against the future

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Compilation copyright © 1996 HotWired Ventures LLC

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