Linux Containers Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article

Matsushita & Sony Shun Microsoft, Launch Linux Digital Media Platform

Matsushita & Sony Shun Microsoft, Launch Linux Digital Media Platform

Consumer electronics biggies Sony and Matsushita have put aside their hereditary rivalry long enough to combine on an open source Linux-based digital media platform. They will be developing a purpose-built Linux operating system to use in myriad consumer devices including TVs and DVDs. They are hoping to finish it by March.

The two might ultimately invite other players to the party, such as Hitachi, IBM, NEC Electronics, Royal Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics and Sharp. Microsoft, which is aggressively pushing into the digital media market, is conspicuously missing from the list, although Matsushita denies it is forming an alliance to compete against it.

Sony and Matsushita have yet to release any specifications on their platform, but did say that it would adhere to the General Public License (GPL), which of course requires that source code be shared. GPL rules also require that any software derived from GPL'd code be released under the GPL as well.

Clearly one of the goals of the axis is to slash the expense of an embedded OS - widget makers are highly sensitive to cost of goods - by splitting the cost of common features. Certain features, such as USB, networking and MP3 decoding support, are expected to be available on all digital media products and aren't differentiators.

There are, for instance, literally hundreds of different portable MP3 players on the market, but in terms of the operating system, all of them are basically the same. All MP3 players basically do the same thing. The guys who make MP3 players compete on style, size, weight and storage capacity.

GPL is a form of self-protection. It makes it kind of hard for a partner to swoop in, add some crucial, patented extensions and then release the result as a closed-source proprietary product.

Linux also offers a reasonable library of digital media code. Mplayer, an open source digital media application for Linux, for example, unites every single digital media format into a single player, even Windows Media and RealNet-works' RealOne formats. And Mplayer is used as the core of a popular Linux digital video recorder (DVR) program called Freevo.

Sony and Matsushita already have a bit of a history with Linux. Sony is using it in its broadband-ready Cocoon DVR console, currently available only in Japan. Sony has also released a programming kit for its popular Playstation 2 that uses Linux as its development environment. Game programmers who want to use Linux to create games can use Playstation 2 Linux to load Linux onto the console and develop directly instead of using a PC with a Playstation 2 emulator.

Matsushita got into Linux indirectly last March when Panasonic, one of its subsidiaries, invested in embedded Linux house MontaVista Software. The move came two months after Sony, IBM Microelectronics and Intel Capital also invested. Yamaha and Toshiba subsequently put money into MontaVista. Then Japanese computer juggernaut NEC signed a deal this month to use MontaVista's Linux in an upcoming digital media server for the home market that will be able to record TV programs and network TVs, other consumer electronics devices, PCs and even cell phones.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...