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Wednesday, November 10, 2010
NEC, Intel and Microsoft Work To Together On Next Generation Digital Signage Platform

NEC, Intel and Microsoft today announced that the companies will enter into a strategic relationship to provide an integrated digital signage offering for the global market, including Japan.

This collaboration will result in an optimized digital signage platform that addresses the retail and digital signage market segment's need for a more streamlined, high performance and highly reliable solution that supports digital content, interactivity, intelligence and lifecycle management.

In January 2010, Intel and Microsoft announced a strategic relationship to develop and promote a validated platform for intelligent digital signage applications. NEC will integrate solutions and services including content management and media distribution with the digital signage platform based on the Intel Core i5/i7 processor running Windows Embedded Standard 7. The companies have discussed collaboration in the areas of hardware, software, system integration and services.

NEC's joining this alliance will further promote the concept of intelligent digital signage and embody next generation digital signage products. This includes a strategic cloud computing collaboration, which is intended to eventually increase alignment between NEC, Intel and Microsoft.

The main emphasis of this proposed collaboration is as follows:

1. Collaboration of new control devices and displays based on Intel Architecture

* NEC will enrich its product portfolio by adding a newly developed controller module and display specialized for digital signage based on the Open Pluggable Specification (OPS), Intel's initiative to standardize the design and development of digital signs.
* These products support the development of low cost, high quality and highly reliable digital signage solutions.

2. Collaboration to develop software applications running Windows Embedded Standard 7 with Windows 7 technologies

* The collaboration utilizes Microsoft's latest Windows 7 technology innovations through Windows Embedded Standard 7. These include Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Touch and Windows Flip 3D navigation for multigesture touch interfaces and context-aware applications.
* Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager for streamlined connectivity; and smart power-management APIs.

3. Audience Measurement Solutions

* NEC will enhance its audience measurement solutions by increasing accuracy of its state of the art age and gender recognition technology.
* The use of business intelligence maintained in Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 database software provides more flexibility to create visual analysis of collected data.
* Intel Core i5/i7 processors and Microsoft Windows 7 technology within Windows Embedded Standard 7 enable NEC to develop the controller capable of managing digital signage software and audience measurement software in a single board.

4. Upgrades NEC's operation management functions

* New remote management functions by Intel Active Management technology such as power management and software upgrading of displays and controllers.
* New efficient system to provide online controller management, OS updating, software updating, asset management and others by operating the management software.

The new products and solutions under this alliance will be exhibited at "iExpo 2010", NEC's private show on November 11, 2010 in Tokyo. A prototype demonstration design of this integrated digital signage platform, running Windows Embedded Standard 7 and the Open Pluggable Specification, will be showcased at the National Retail Federation (NRF) Annual Convention and Expo January 9 -12, 2011 in New York.

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