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Microsoft, Cisco a stream team

The two companies are extending their partnership to develop streaming video and audio products.

Software titan Microsoft and internetworking giant Cisco are extending their partnership to develop streaming video and audio products.

The companies made a joint announcement today at their Networked Multimedia Connection Showcase in San Jose, California, which they cosponsored along with Intel. The event is aimed at accelerating the adoption of networked multimedia, including streaming video, by corporations and universities. Intel is an investor in CNET: The Computer Network.

For the partnership, Microsoft is providing the software with its Windows Media Technology line of products including Windows Media Player, Windows NT Server NetShow Services, and NetShow Theater Server. And Cisco is anteing up its networking know-how with IP/TV and other Internet products to help joint customers deploy streaming media technologies.

The companies are targeting such markets as training, collaboration, and distance learning. The new program will include tools and services for developing better networking infrastructures that can handle streaming media.

Current networks are primarily designed to handle data while telephone systems are designed for voice. Streaming systems allow companies to run video and audio over Internet-based networks in real time. Increases in network bandwidth and PC processing power are making it possible to develop such systems, the companies said in their statement.

Reuters contributed to this report.