Sony Likes Linux For CE Devices


Linux got a boost at the Consumer Electronics Show this week as a Sony executive revealed the operating system would be a key foundation for some of the company's consumer electronics devices.

Sony President and COO Kunitake Ando, speaking at a Thursday morning keynote here, said Linux and an Intel chip are powering the company's Cocoon, a TiVo-like device that is currently selling in Japan and is slated for release in the United States sometime soon.

Sony, along with Panasonic, Philips and Samsung, have formed a consortium to "develop an advanced Linux platform," Ando said.

But when asked during a Q&A session after the keynote if Sony would look to move Linux to desktop PCs, Ando said that although it's likely that Linux will offer many of the same features as Windows in the future, users still will want to run business applications such as PowerPoint on a Microsoft operating system.

Sony collaborates with Microsoft and will continue to do so, but the consumer electronics company also uses a number of non-Microsoft operating systems in its devices--Linux, Palm OS and Symbian, to name a few, Ando said.

Sony is hoping to work with Microsoft to develop a way to ensure that different operating systems can communicate in an increasingly connected world, Ando said.