Ballmer signs noise reduction deal

After years of quietly making his point in Redmond, the shy and retiring CEO Steve “there’s a kind of hush” Ballmer is getting serious about noise reduction.

He has signed an agreement with audio technology licensor Dolby Labs for the use of its products in the Windows 8 operating system. It might mean that finally Ballmer will remove the hiss when he enters a room.

It looks like Vole will include Dolby Digital Plus 5.1-channel decoding and two-channel encoding in Windows 8 and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will pay a base royalty rate to Dolby for using its products.

Sadly for Dolby it will not change its bottom line until next year as Windows 8 is not expected to ship until Dolby’s fiscal 2013.

Dolby Digital is an audio encoder and decoder designed to deliver 5.1 channels of audio to DVDs, blu-ray discs, cable, broadcast, satellite TV programming, PCs and video games.

It looks like every copy of Windows 8 will include the function to play Dolby encoding but OEMs will have to pay for the optical disk playback functionality.

Dolby will only get one royalty payment per device containing these technologies.

Reuters said that it has been a good year for Dolby with revenue for the quarter rising to four percent to $260.3 million.