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November 10, 1999
Sony and Sun Join Forces To Link Digital Consumer Electronic|
Appliances Directly To Internet Content and Services
Tokyo, Japan and Palo Alto, Calif., November 10, 1999 - Sony Corporation and Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced plans to further collaborate to provide digital consumer electronic appliances with direct access to Internet-based content and services.
The first phase of this cooperation will involve the development of home gateway software running on appliances such as set-top boxes and digital television sets that support a combination of home networking and network server technologies. Specific technologies to be supported include HAViTM/ i.LINKTM, as well as Sun's JiniTM, JavaTM, Java Embedded ServerTM (JES) and SunTM Management Center (SunMC) technologies.
Combining these technologies would create a seamless connection between network servers and digital consumer electronic appliances in the home. Not only would such a connection simplify the secure electronic distribution of digital content, but it could also allow innovative solutions for customer service and other types of post-sales support.
This initiative will make it possible for Sony to introduce a new generation of digital AV consumer electronics products that offer direct access to on-line customer support through an easy-to-use, menu-driven graphical user interface. It will also establish digital AV consumer electronics appliances as powerful products for accessing Internet-based content and services with the same level of simplicity and convenience that consumers have come to expect from products such as stereos and television sets.
Sun views digital AV appliances as an enormous opportunity for the millions of Java application programmers already creating interactive content and services for the Internet to expand the variety and sophistication of their on-line offerings to cater to a highly broadened audience.
"With the approaching broadband network era, we are moving in a direction that will fundamentally reshape the relationship between digital AV appliances, computers and the Internet," said Nobuyuki Idei, president and chief executive officer, Sony Corporation. "This partnership with Sun will accelerate the development and proliferation of interactive digital content to consumer electronic devices via the Internet, enabling the delivery of advanced services that will increase serviceability and end-user benefits."
"The collaboration that we are announcing today with Sony will unleash the power of the Internet in networked consumer electronic devices, forever changing the way people think of them," said Scott McNealy, chairman and chief executive officer, Sun Microsystems, Inc. "Developing an integrated Dot-Com solution that leverages the breath of Sun technologies will enable Sony to deliver simple, 'invisible computing' in the home and drive entirely new content opportunities in the networked economy."
The current collaboration, which has already begun, further expands the on-going efforts between Sony and Sun aimed at bridging the HAVi and Jini home network architectures. Teams of engineers within both companies have already begun groundwork for the creation of a solution incorporating the home gateway software.
Sony established the easy-to-recognize i.LINK name and logo for use with digital interfaces that comply with the IEEE1394 standard as a means of promoting the broad adoption of this high bandwidth digital interface technology by the digital AV electronics and PC industries. The IEEE1394-1995 standard, which specifies transmission rates of up to 400Mbps and offers protocols supporting branched-chain or daisy chain networks of up to 63 appliances, is expected to serve as the backbone for home entertainment networks of the future.
The Home Audio-Video interoperability (HAVi) architecture was developed by eight major consumer electronics manufacturers (Grundig, Hitachi, Matsushita, Philips, Sharp, Sony, Thompson, and Toshiba) as a peer-to-peer distributed home network architecture. Based on the i.LINK interface, HAVi offers the convenience of plug-and-play connectivity, brand-independent interoperability, and a single easy-to-use user interface for controlling various types of digital AV appliances.
About Jini Connection Technology
Jini technology presents a radically new way to build and use software and hardware. In the Jini model, network services are easy to install (just plug them in and they work) and easy to administer (collections of Jini technology services are virtually self-healing). Jini technology enables 'instant on' capabilities, the ability to automatically create impromptu networks that are resilient and have services that are on demand.
About Java Embedded Server
JES technology is a small footprint application server designed to be embedded in a variety of network devices. JES software allows development, deployment, and installation of applications and services to embedded devices on a just-in-time basis. Using the JES product, companies can quickly respond to changing market requirements by installing and managing new software and services on the devices over the network-dynamically and securely.
About Sun Management Center
SunMC is a highly scalable network management platform that maintains topology and configuration information, event management & trap handling, and interfaces to information databases. SunMC manages the home device agents via industry standard SNMP, the Simple Network Management Protocol.
About Sony Corporation
Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Its music, pictures and computer entertainment operations make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of over $56 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1999. Sony's Home Page URL: http://www.sony.co.jp/
About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision - The Network Is The ComputerTM -- has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW), to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that power the Internet and allow companies worldwide to ".com" their businesses. With $12.4 billion in annual revenues, Sun can be found in more than 170 countries and on the World Wide Web at http://www.sun.com.
- Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Java, Java Embedded Server, Jini, Sun Management Center and "The Network Is The Computer" are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc in the United States and in other countries.
- The i.LINK name and logo are registered trademarks of Sony Corporation.
- The HAVi name and logo are registered trademarks of the HAVi Organization, which can be contacted through the following Internet URL: http://www.havi.org.