Be operating system to power Sony Net appliance

Sony rejects Windows and even Linux in favour of BeIA for its forthcoming e Villa Internet appliance

Electronics giant Sony is licensing software from operating system maker Be to power its consumer Internet browsing appliance, the e Villa.

Under the agreement Sony will use the BeIA Client Platform, a version of the Be operating system (BeOS) specially tailored for Internet appliances, on its e Villa device, which will be designed for Web surfing and basic tasks such as word processing.

The deal was confirmed during the CeBIT show in Germany and marks out the territory that Be is aiming for. While the fully-fledged operating system BeOS provides is an alternative to Windows and Linux on conventional PCs, BeIA enables hardware manufactures to build simple, robust appliances that hide all the complexities of the operating system from the consumer. Sony's e Villa appliance will ship with a keyboard and mouse, and a limited number of integrated applications.

During the announcement Be confirmed that it has been working with Sony since May 2000 on the product. According to Lamar Potts, vice president of sales and marketing for Be, the company's software is ideally suited to building streamlined Internet devices.

"Sony's e Villa Network Entertainment Center is an innovative and unique device ideally suited to showcase the key features of the BeIA Client Platform, namely its stability, small memory footprint, modularity, and ability to provide a rich, interactive, multimedia experience," said Potts in a statement.

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