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SPECIAL REPORT: Matsushita, Sony developing Linux-based consumer device OS

Dec 18, 2002 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

[Updated 10:45 pm PST] In what may well represent one of the most significant milestones of the rapidly emerging Embedded Linux market, Matsushita and Sony today jointly announced that the two companies are collaborating to create an embedded Linux operating system for consumer devices. To provide added perspective, brings you this Special Report which includes the text of the Matsushita/Sony announcement, and also provides a roundup of some of the many international news stories surrounding this important development . . .

  • Press release: Matsushita and Sony to Collaborate on Development of Linux Platform for Digital Home Electronic Devices — read the full text of the joint announcement by Matsushita and Sony here.
  • Financial Times: Matsushita and Sony in Linux tie-up — “Matsushita and Sony have agreed to jointly develop the Linux operating system for digital consumer electronic products, in a highly unusual and cooperative deal between two of the fiercest rivals in the industry . . . The deal is a major boost to Linux, an open operating system widely used for personal computers and servers, which is also gaining popularity for use in digital home devices . . . The agreement between two of the largest consumer electronics makers in the world will represent a blow to Microsoft, which also has ambitions to expand its presence in the home devices market . . .” Story
  • Associated Press: Sony, Matsushita embracing Linux for products line — “Sony Corp. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. said Wednesday they will jointly develop an operating system based on Linux technology for their digital consumer electronics products . . . The two Japanese consumer electronics giants plan to develop the operating system by next March, Matsushita spokeswoman Yoko Fukusaki said . . . The operating system will be used in products such as televisions, DVDs and microwave ovens, Fukusaki said. Matsushita sells products under the Panasonic, National, and other brand names . . .” Story
  • IDG News Service: Is Linux Ready for the Living Room? — Japan's two largest consumer electronics companies, Matsushita Electric Industrial, better known as Panasonic, and Sony have begun joint development of a version of the Linux operating system for digital consumer electronics devices, they said Wednesday . . . The announcement stands to speed the entry of Linux into the consumer electronics space, where it already has begun to make inroads–not just because Japan's top two players will be jointly working on the system but also because they have secured basic support from a number of other major consumer electronics makers . . .” Story
  • EE Times: Sony, Matsushita prep Linux for consumer electronics — “The Linux developed by Sony and Matsushita will join a slate of operating systems the companies use in their respective digital electronics, including Sony's proprietary Aperios and Matsushita's proprietary Pie OS, as well as the iTron real-time operating system and Microsoft's Windows CE . . . 'Linux will be one of those operating systems. We will use the most adequate OS for each product,' a Matsushita spokesman said. 'Linux will be suitable for digital consumer products which connect to networks' . . .” Story
  • CNET: Linux tapped to be audiovisual aid — “Audiovisual gear for the home, such as digital video recorders, from Sony and other manufacturers could soon have a new version of Linux inside . . . Like many other large companies such as IBM, Sony and Matsushita have increased their investment in Linux. Panasonic, which is owned by Matsushita, earlier this year invested in MontaVista Software. MontaVista creates Linux for electronics devices such as ATMs and network routers. Sony also uses MontaVista's software in some products . . .” Story
  • Reuters: Consumer electronics giants opt for Linux — “Sony and Matsushita Electric Industrial said on Wednesday they would jointly develop software using the freely available Linux operating system to run home electronics such as hard-disk video recorders . . . The world's two largest consumer electronics makers hope to make Linux, now used mainly in high-powered computer servers where it competes with Microsoft's Windows, more adept at handling video and other consumer-oriented functions . . . 'We don't know yet what products will emerge from this, but we aim to develop source code by next spring,' a Sony spokesman said . . .” Story
  • USA Today: Sony, Panasonic to use Linux in consumer electronics — “Linux, the free software operating system, got a big boost Wednesday when Sony and Panasonic parent Matsushita said they will use the software to build increasingly 'smart' microwave ovens, TVs and other consumer gizmos. The announcement is a potential blow for Microsoft, which is already battling Linux's growing popularity on beefy computers.” Story

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