Microsoft Invests $30M in Wink
REDMOND, Wash. (AP) _ Microsoft Corp. announced a $30 million investment in Wink Communications Inc., a company that uses its technology to add interactive capabilities to televisions and telephones.
Wink, based in Alameda, Calif., will provide enhanced tools for broadcast and cable television networks and advertisers using Microsoft’s WebTV, the companies said in a statement released Thursday.
Wink’s Response Network Services collects viewer responses generated from interactive commercials and programming. Viewers can request information or order products from advertisers with a click of their remote controls. Those requests are then processed to Wink’s data center.
The combined offerings of Wink and Microsoft aim to accelerate the wide adoption of interactive television, the companies said.
The companies agreed to promote content and commerce based on a standard format, called Advanced Television Enhancement Forum. Content based on the ATVEF specification can be delivered by analog and digital lines, satellite and cable systems, digital television or personal computers.
The deal gives Redmond-based Microsoft a 10 percent-stake in Wink, The Wall Street Journal reported in today’s editions.