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THE INTERNATIONAL MULTIMEDIA TELECOMMUNICATIONS CONSORTIUM, MICROSOFT, GTE AND 3COM TO HOST IMTC SUPEROP! AND TAPI BAKE-OFF EVENTS
Vendors from Around the Globe to Test Interactive Communications Products over Diverse Networks

SAN RAMON, Calif., March 3, 1998 - The International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium (IMTC), Microsoft, GTE and 3Com Corporation announced today that the 1998 IMTC SuperOp! and TAPI Bake-Off events will be co-located in Honolulu, Hawaii on July 13 through 17. These separate events will enable manufacturers of multimedia conferencing and telephony products to test the interoperability of current and future offerings across a mixture of Internet, intranet, LAN/WAN, digital, (ISDN) and analog (POTS) telephone networks.

The IMTC SuperOp! is an extensive international technical testing event for diverse multimedia conferencing products and services across and within protocols for data conferencing (T.120), and videoconferencing over ISDN (H.320), Internet, intranet, LAN (H.323) and POTS (H.324). The IMTC's 1997 SuperOp! event, held in Berlin, Germany, hosted more than 38 companies from 13 countries and marked the first international testing of T.120, H.320, H.323, and H.324 under one roof.

This year's IMTC SuperOp! event, which involves five days of structured, scheduled tests based on the above standards, is expected to draw more than 50 companies from around the world. The Honolulu location was chosen to specifically encourage attendance by IMTC member companies in the Asia Pacific region active in standards-based multimedia conferencing products and services. The 1998 SuperOp! event is organized and sponsored by the IMTC with support from Microsoft, GTE and 3Com.

TAPI Bake-Off, now in its fifth year, is a Windows® Telephony Interoperability Testing Event designed to promote maximum interoperability between Windows-based telephony API (TAPI)-compatible software applications and telephone system hardware. TAPI is an important part of every Windows operating system product allowing telephony software written by one vendor to work with telephony hardware made by another vendor.

TAPI 2.1, the current version, supports call control for traditional telephony and is used to enable a wide variety of call center and personal productivity computer telephony solutions. TAPI 3.0, scheduled to be released as part of Windows NT 5.0, will add support to enable telephony applications to work as well across the Internet or managed IP networks as across the circuit-switched telephone networks. Companies participating in the 1998 TAPI Bake-Off, sponsored by Microsoft with support from GTE and 3Com, will be testing products based on both TAPI 2.1 and TAPI 3.0.

 "By creating another forum in which developers from around the world have access to each other and the same physical network, the IMTC's SuperOp! event is helping propel the development, utilization and adoption of standards-based multimedia conferencing solutions," said Matt Collier, president of the IMTC. "With what the industry is experiencing -- the convergence of voice, video and data -- co-locating the IMTC SuperOp! with Microsoft's TAPI Bake-Off is a natural evolution and enables cross-utilization of various protocols and standards."

"Standards help ensure choice, lower cost, flexibility and innovation, and are vital to the growth and progress of computer telephony and communications in general," said Toby Nixon, program manager for multimedia conferencing at Microsoft Corporation and a member of the IMTC board of directors. "Most Windows-based multimedia products use TAPI for call control, and a growing number of TAPI products implement the multimedia standards promoted by the IMTC. Co-locating these events minimizes the cost for participants, maximizes the opportunity to test with compatible products, allows us to share ideas to advance the industry as a whole, and helps us deliver even better communications solutions for our customers."

 "As a sponsor for the previous TAPI Bake-Off, we're delighted to extend our support to the IMTC SuperOp! event," said Russ Sivey, director of strategic technology assessment at GTE. "Both events provide us a perfect opportunity to demonstrate how our advanced network capabilities become a key ingredient in the delivery of valuable customer solutions."

GTE Hawaiian Tel will be providing the wide-area connectivity for both events, including CentraNetÒ analog telephone service, basic-rate and primary-rate ISDN service, ADSL service and high-speed Internet connectivity via GTE Internetworking, a unit of GTE Corp.

"3Com is committed to making the convergence of voice, video and data a reality, so we're especially excited to be a sponsor of the TAPI Bake-Off, as well as working with the IMTC on its SuperOp! interoperability testing event," said Irfan Ali, vice president of worldwide marketing, 3Com Carrier Systems. "Both the TAPI Bake-Off and the IMTC SuperOp! events provide us with the ability to demonstrate the internetworkability of our products to a diverse audience."

About the IMTC
The IMTC (http://www.imtc.org) is a non-profit organization promoting the ongoing development and adoption of international standards for interoperable, multipoint data and video conferencing. The San Ramon, Calif.-based consortium includes more than 140 members and associates from 20 countries. Membership is open to any interested party, including vendors of audio, document, and video teleconferencing hardware and software; communications companies; teleconferencing service providers; end users; academic institutions; government agencies; and non-profit organizations. In addition to its SuperOp event, the IMTC has held more than twenty testing events to date to test T.120, H.320, H.323 and H.324 products and services for compatibility with each other.

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

About GTE
With 1997 revenues of more than $23 billion, GTE is one of the world's largest telecommunications companies and a leading provider of integrated telecommunications services. In the United States, GTE provides local service in 28 states and wireless service in 17 states; nationwide long-distance and internetworking services ranging from dial-up Internet access for residential and small-business consumers to Web-based applications for Fortune 500 companies; as well as video service in selected markets. Outside the United States, the company serves more than 7 million telecommunications customers. GTE is also a leader in government and defense communications systems and equipment, directories and telecommunications-based information services, and aircraft-passenger telecommunications. Additional information about GTE can be found on the Internet at http://www.gte.com.

About 3Com Corporation
3Com Corporation (NASDAQ: COMS) enables individuals and organizations worldwide to communicate and share information and resources at anytime from anywhere. As one of the world's preeminent suppliers of data, voice and video communications technology, 3Com has delivered networking solutions to more than 100 million customers worldwide. The company provides enterprises, network service providers and carriers, small businesses and consumers with comprehensive, innovative information access products and system solutions for building intelligent, reliable and high performance local and wide area networks. For further information, visit 3Com's World Wide Web site at http://www.3Com.com, or the press site at http://www.3Com.com/pressbox.

For further information on the IMTC SuperOp! and TAPI Bake-Off, or to inquire about participating in the event, please visit the IMTC Web site at http://www.imtc.org.