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Microsoft Sinks $30m into Interactive TV Firm Wink.

Microsoft Corp has invested $30m in Wink Communications Inc, a privately-held company that provides technology for creating interactive TV content and collecting viewer responses. The investment gives the software giant a roughly 10% stake in Alameda, California-based Wink. Microsoft will integrate the Wink technology into future versions of its WebTV service after Wink optimizes its Response Network Service for the platform.

Wink's RNS provides broadcast and cable TV networks and advertisers with the ability to collect viewer responses generated from interactive commercials and programming. Viewers can request information from advertisers or order products with a click of their remote control. The responses are then routed to Wink's data center for processing. The company's Broadcast Tools offering, meanwhile, allows programmers and advertisers to create interactive enhancements synchronized with digital or analog video.

The companies will promote content and commerce activities based on the specification of the Advanced Television Enhancement Forum, which can be delivered by analog and digital lines, satellite and cable systems to any compliant set-top box, digital television or PCs. The new partners say they hope the joint efforts will accelerate wider adoption of interactive television.
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Title Annotation:Company Financial Information
Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 7, 1999
Words:187
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