Sony, Philips Electronics and Sun Microsystems are expected to announce an alliance today, designed to put them head to head with Microsoft in the home networking ring.
Under the teaming the trio would link two developing software standards - Sun?s Jini and Home Audio Visual Interoperability (HAVI), being worked on by Philips and Sony together with other consumer electronics giants including Sharp, Matsushita Electrical, Toshiba, German Grundig and Thomson Multimedia in France. Linking the two standards would enable a host of home devices to be connected and controlled via the Internet. Consumers may, for example, be able to programme their videos via mobile phones or control their heating systems via the Internet.
Sun's Jini is based on the company's Java programming language for Internet applications. It is a ?distributed design? which means that various devices attached to the network can add processing power and move data around.
The resulting network will mean the PC will no longer be the centre of the home networking future - instead a televsion remote control, for example, could be used to download DVD movies via a set top box.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month home networking was the buzz. Microsoft used the show to debut a Universal Plug and Play standard for home networking that has the support of Compaq, Dell and Hewlett-Packard. Its home networking plans centre around the PC, rather than around a network, which is Sun's vision.
The software giant has also been working hard to push its Home Application Program Interface, or Home API, to link PCs to consumer electronics devices.
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