Microsoft in TRON tie-up for consumer electronics

Posted by bink on September 25 2003, 7:59 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft Corp (MSFT) said on Thursday it would collaborate with a consortium that promotes an open operating system for consumer electronics called TRON, in a move aimed at making its software compatible with a system that operates nearly 60 percent of the world's microprocessorsTRON is distributed free of charge and is used in a wide range of products from digital cameras to car engines.

Microsoft aims to work with T-Engine Forum -- a group of nearly 250 companies, including Sony Corp (6758) and NTT DoCoMo Inc (9437), that promotes TRON -- to make its Windows CE .NET operating system compatible with the technology that is the defacto standard for Japanese microprocessors.A spokesman for Microsoft said the cooperation would bring together the networking strength of Windows CE .NET, a platform for digital consumer electronics, with the operating system that is used in three to four billion appliances worldwide.TRON, or the real-time operating system nucleus, is preferred in applications such as mobile phones, because of its fast processing speed. It is also free from "freezing", a bugbear of personal computer users.It is also "open source", which means the codes making up the programme can be obtained free of charge and allows engineers to modify the platforms according to individual needs.Microsoft charges customers to use its operating system.

One possible application from the cooperation could be in products such as car navigation systems.Microsoft can use TRON to operate the navigation system's television and other functions, while the Windows CE .NET platform would allow users to link up with their personal computers to check e-mail from the car.