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Gates shut out

Gates shut out

作者:徐蔟  时间:2019-03-07 06:08:00  人气:

By Barry Fox BROADCASTERS in Europe have moved to prevent Microsoft’s Windows CE operating system becoming the standard for interactive services accessed through the next generation of digital television sets. They are adamant that Bill Gates’s company will not dominate TV as it has the personal computing world. The Digital Video Broadcasting group in Geneva is close to agreement on the final specification for what it calls the Multimedia Home Platform—and it does not use Microsoft technology. Instead, it will be based on Sun Microsystems’ Java language. MHP will considerably broaden the capabilities of TV sets, allowing people to browse the Web, use e-mail and connect to future high-speed mobile phone networks as well as simply watching programmes. Broadcasters such as the BBC and Canal+ gave the first demonstrations of MHP in Berlin last week. “Digital television is like the computer industry before the IBM PC came along—a mess,” says Paul Bristow of Philips in France. Different broadcasters are using incompatible software to display interactive text and pictures, making widespread accessibility of multimedia services impossible. But tailored versions of MHP can sit on top of any of the systems currently in use, providing a common interface for broadcast multimedia material to hook into. Otherwise separate versions of such material would be needed for different broadcasters. Microsoft is proposing a broadcast version of Windows CE called TAK, and has won the backing of Thomson of France. But Java is cheaper to license, at less than $5 per receiver, compared with $40 or $50 for Windows CE. But the real TAK killer is that several software vendors, such as Hewlett-Packard, have their own versions of Java. “The DVB and International Standards Organisation will not select any software like Windows which comes from one manufacturer only,