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RealNetworks to Unveil New Software Suite

May 22, 2000|STANLEY HOLMES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SEATTLE — RealNetworks Inc. today will up the stakes in the competitive digital media market with the release of a new suite of software that combines three of its popular streaming-media technologies into one system.

The new product, called Real Entertainment Center, integrates its RealPlayer 8, RealJukebox 2 and RealDownload 4 software into one downloadable package that aims to simplify the experience of watching video or listening to music over the Internet. The new digital program also will integrate eight new services that company officials say will give users a broader selection of Internet content.

Real Entertainment Center will give consumers greater choice in how, when and where they listen to music or watch the news, said RealNetworks founder and Chief Executive Rob Glaser.

"It's a culmination of a lot of things we've been building toward for five years," Glaser said.

For now, the Real Entertainment Center might be enough to keep archrival Microsoft Corp. at arm's length. The software giant has been chasing market leader RealNetworks for control of the lucrative digital media market with its own integrated Windows Media Player.

But Seattle-based RealNetworks, which pioneered audio and video streaming over the Internet, still retains a huge lead.

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