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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For additional information, contact:
Birgit Riepe
Interprise Ventures
773-384-2484

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., July 7, 1999 - The International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium (IMTC), Microsoft Corp., GTE Corp. and 3Com Corporation announced today that the 1999 IMTC SuperOp! and TAPI Bake-Off events will again be held in Honolulu, Hawaii this September 13-17. These co-located 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), POTS(H.324) and ETSI TIPHON's IP Telephony specifications. The IMTC’s 1998 SuperOp! event, also held in Honolulu, Hawaii, hosted more than 225 engineers from 46 companies, and comprised 65 test teams from 12 nations around the globe. Attendance at this year’s IMTC SuperOp! event, which involves five days of structured, scheduled tests based on the above standards, is expected to grow by up to 40 percent.

This year’s SuperOp! event marks the first participation and testing by ETSI’s TIPHON group, as well as the recently formed IMTC iNOW! Activity Group - testament to the global and far-reaching impact of the event. In addition, the IMTC plans to begin trial testing of the IMTC Conferencing Compatibility Program, a rigorous set of tests that provide vendors and end-users with a greater level of assurance that their multimedia conferencing solutions are interoperable at the application layer with those from other vendors. All IMTC Conferencing Compatibility Program test sets are developed by IMTC activity groups with input from member companies and approved by the IMTC general membership.

The Honolulu location of SuperOp! was chosen again because of the significant wide area network (WAN) infrastructure already in place from last year’s event. The 1999 SuperOp! event is organized and sponsored by the IMTC with support from Microsoft, GTE and 3Com.

The TAPI Bake-Off, now in its sixth year, is a Windows Telephony Interoperability Testing Event designed to promote maximum interoperability between hardware and software products using the Windows Telephony Applications Programming Interface (TAPI). 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, available today, 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, which will ship in Windows 2000 and for Windows 98, adds 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 1999 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.

“The IMTC’s SuperOp! event is just one strong example of the IMTC’s continued commitment to help propel the development, utilization and adoption of standards-based, interoperable multimedia conferencing solutions,” said Matt Collier, president of the IMTC. “With the momentum of the convergence of voice, video and data building, the IMTC is pleased to again be co-locating the IMTC SuperOp! with Microsoft’s TAPI Bake-Off event, enabling cross-utilization of various multimedia communications protocols and standards.”

“Interoperability affects customer satisfaction so the success of open platforms and communications convergence is driven in large part by interoperability,” said Steve Woodward, technology evangelist for Windows Telephony at Microsoft Corporation. “After all, users and resellers want solutions that just work. The SuperOp! and TAPI Bake-Off events provide a unique venue to make sure that products based on these important standards really deliver the positive experience customers expect and deserve.”

Russ Sivey, Director New Services Development for GTE said "Given the evolving focus on new services via high bandwidth pipes and always on connectivity into the home, the SuperOp! and TAPI Bake-Off are increasingly important industry events."

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.

About the IMTC

The IMTC is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, encouraging, and facilitating the development and implementation of interoperable multimedia teleconferencing solutions based on open, international standards. The San Ramon, California - based consortium includes more than 145 member organizations from around the globe. 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 hosted more than 40 interoperability events around the globe to test T.120, H.320, H.323 and H.324 products and services for compatibility with each other.

About GTE

With 1998 revenues of more than $25 billion, GTE is a leading telecommunications provider with one of the industry's broadest arrays of products and services. In the United States, GTE provides local service in 28 states and wireless service in 17 states, as well as nationwide long-distance, directory, and internetworking services ranging from dial-up Internet access for residential and small-business consumers to Web-based applications for Fortune 500 companies. Outside the United States, the company serves customers on five continents. Additional information about GTE can be obtained at http://www.gte.com.

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

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