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November 15, 1999
Sony Seeks to Create New Business Position for the Network Era|
COMDEX, Las Vegas, NV, November 15, 1999 - The advent of sweeping changes in the landscape of the consumer electronics industry has become apparent from trends such as the shift from analog to digital, the emergence of network capable digital AV appliances, and the transition from narrow band to broadband networks.
Within this rapidly changing environment, this year's Comdex features displays from a wide variety of companies, many of which are more closely linked to the consumer AV electronics and telecommunications industries than the information technology industry that have traditionally been the mainstay of the event. The arrival and fusion of new technologies extending far beyond the traditional realm of the information technology industry have led to the creation of innovative new business models.
In anticipation of fundamental changes in the business environment, Sony has worked to fully activate its operating capital while also forming strategic partnerships and technological development efforts with other powerful companies, in order to create a new business position for the digital network era. The following is an overview of announcements reflecting this strategy made at this year's Comdex:
- Networking of Consumer Electronics Products
- 1) Expanded licensing of the Memory Stick format
- Following the licensing of Memory Stick to six companies in September 1999, Sony concluded agreements to license the format to another nineteen companies representing the information technology, telecommunications, and automotive industries. This brings the total number of companies licensing Memory Stick to twenty-five, greatly increasing expectations that Memory Stick IC recording media will play a key role for the off-line linkage of digital electronics products.
- 2) Joint development of home gateway software with Sun Microsystems
- Sony and Sun announced plans to jointly develop home gateway software to provide networked digital electronics products with easy access to the Internet through the integration of various key technologies, including the HAVi/i.LINK network architecture promoted by Sony and various Java-based technologies developed by Sun. Internet access will enable electronics products to upgrade their own software, perform service-related self-diagnoses, and access a wide range of entirely new services.
- Strengthening development of mobile AV/IT network products
- 1) Joint Development of a next-generation Palm Computing platform
- Palm and Sony plan to enrich the Palm OS to enable it to support Memory Stick technology and jointly develop a next generation Palm Computing platform also integrating Sony AV technologies to offer a new mobile consumer electronics environment.
- Establishing secure environment for electronic distribution of digital music content
- 1) Endorsement of OpenMG technology
- IBM, InterTrust Technologies Corporation, Liquid Audio, Preview Systems, Real Networks and Reciprocal announced support for Sony's OpenMG copyright protection technology for electronically distributed digital music content, marking great progress toward the realization of a secure means of electronic content distribution.
- 2) Collaboration with Microsoft on electronic music content delivery
- Sony plans to connect its OpenMG and MagicGate technologies to Microsoft's Windows Media Technologies to further advancement progress of a secure model for the electronic delivery of digital music content.
- 3) Collaboration with IBM on electronic music content delivery
- Sony also plans to connect its OpenMG and MagicGate copyright protection technologies to IBM's Electronic Music Management System (EMMS) to further advancement progress of a secure model for the electronic delivery of digital music content.
The above mentioned collaborative efforts and strategic partnerships will accelerate the establishment of an environment for the secure distribution of copyright protected digital music content, allowing consumers to enjoy a wide range of music content downloaded to Sony's Memory Stick Walkman portable audio player and VAIO Music Clip software application.
Sony Corporation 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/