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Microsoft and Toshiba to Jointly Specify and Develop Advanced High Resolution LCD for eBook Devices

10 July, 2000

Screens to Deliver Digital Photographic-Quality Display

Microsoft Corporation
Toshiba Corporation

Tokyo, Japan and Redmond, Wash.-- July 10, 2000-- Toshiba Corp. and Microsoft Corp. today announced that they will jointly develop specifications for a color, low-temperature polysilicon thin-film transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display (LCD) that both companies believe will become widely adopted for mid-size electronic book devices. The two companies recently completed the basic specifications for the new line of products, and plan to have the displays integrated into prototype devices by the end of this year.

The new low-temperature polysilicon display will support the same image quality achieved by digital photography, and is optimized to take full advantage of Microsoft's ClearType technology. The high quality of on-screen readability is expected to become an important factor in generating interest in upcoming purpose-built eBook devices, and to provide further stimulus for the emergence of electronic publishing and distribution over the Internet. The basic specifications for the new eBook LCD are 7.7 inches diagonal, 640 x 960 pixels, 150 ppi (pixel per inch) resolution, transmissive, color TFT, portrait type.

Microsoft Reader, the world's first eBook reader application featuring ClearTypeTM technology delivers an on-screen computer reading experience that for the first time, approaches the convenience and quality of reading text printed on paper. Reader adheres to the traditions and benefits of fine typography and provides a clean, uncluttered display; ample margins; full justification; proper spacing, letting and kerning; and powerful tools for bookmarking, highlighting and annotation.

Microsoft has already released Microsoft Reader for Pocket PC's, and will release a version for desktop and laptop PC's this summer, with still another version optimized for dedicated reading devices following shortly after that.

"Toshiba's high resolution eBook LCD's will be specially designed for Microsoft Reader with ClearType, and will allow manufacturers to build dedicated reading devices with the best portable electronic reading experience ever seen," said Dick Brass, Vice President of Technology Development at Microsoft.

"Currently, suitable paperback-sized portrait mode color LCD's that support ClearType do not exist in the market," said Sakae Arai, Chief Technology Executive at Toshiba. "Toshiba believes that the success of electronic books lies with next-generation portable eBook devices that deliver a reading experience that rivals paper. Microsoft Reader with ClearType combined with our new eBook LCDs gives us that."

Low temperature polysilicon TFT LCDs offer higher resolution, richer color and more design flexibility than other LCD technologies. The crystallized silicon used supports much faster electron flows in the transistors than the uncrystallized silicon used in mainstream amorphous silicon TFT LCDs, a performance enhancement that allows most LCD drivers to be integrated directly on the display panel itself as opposed to the more typical external integration. As a result, the space required at the periphery of the panel is minimized, the number of components in the LCD module is cut by 40%, and the number of connections between TAB drivers and electrodes on the panel is reduced by 95%.

Low-temperature polysilicon displays also achieve lower power consumption and higher durability, making them ideal for mobile terminals ranging from notebook PCs to PDAs toeBooks. Toshiba, the industry leader in low-temperature polysilicon LCDs, produces 30 thousand 400x500mm glass substrates a month today, and plans to produce additional 25 thousand 550x670mm glass substrates a month from April, 2001.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software- any time, any place and on any device.

About Toshiba

Toshiba Corporation is a leader in information and communications systems, electronic components, consumer products, and power systems. The company's integration of these wide-ranging capabilities assures its position as an innovator in advanced components, products, and systems. Toshiba has 191,000 employees worldwide, and annual sales of over US$50 billion. Visit Toshiba's website at

For more information, press only:
Phil Missimore, Waggener Edstrom, (408) 654-5200,
Wendy Hoover, Waggener Edstrom, (408) 654-5200,
Rapid Response Team, Waggener Edstrom for Microsoft, (503) 443-7000,
For Japan:
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Toshiba: Corporate Communications Office
Tel: +81-(0)3-3457-2105

  • Microsoft, ClearType, and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
  • The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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