Sony gets open standards religion

EE Times: "Ando warned the assembled consumer electronics industry representatives that broadband interconnectivity is a tsunami that could sweep them away unless they work together on industry-wide open standards."

Ando, who is Sony’s President (and CEO-in-training), said that major consumer electronics vendors such as LG, Philips, and Samsung are joining with it in an initiative to build an open Linux-based operating system for broadband home media. This could be big news. Sony licensed Tivo’s software, which runs on Linux, about a year ago, though it’s not clear if that’s part of this effort.

Sony has traditionally supported semi-proprietary standards like MiniDisc, Betamax, MemoryStick and FireWire. Presumably the Linux-based platform will be a private industry standard that other companies can sign up to, rather than one driven by an open standards body like the IEEE or IETF. Building on Linux is a direct challenge to Microsoft, which is what makes the announcement so interesting.