On the eve of the Multimedia Show in Tokyo this week, Apple Computer Inc and Fujitsu Ltd announced their agreement to co-operate in the multimedia field. The aim of the agreement is to provide CD-ROM format compatibility between Fujitsu’s FM-Towns multimedia personal computer and the Apple Macintosh, and jointly to expand the market, according to Akira Kuwahara, general manager of the Personal Systems Business Group at Fujitsu. Each company will encourage software vendors to develop common applications for both environments by providing compatibility guidelines and multimedia resources. To encourage video data compatibility Apple will license QuickTime to Fujitsu to enable the QuickTime architecture to be supported on FM Towns. Other projects are also in discussion between the two vendors, said David Nagel, senior vice-president and general manager of AppleSoft, but none are at the announcement stage as yet. The new alliance is currently only for the Japanese market, he said. We’ll continue to be competitors, a Fujitsu spokesman said: the goal here is to eliminate some of the problems that users face. Since the FM-Towns was launched four years ago as Japan’s first multimedia personal computer, with a CD-ROM drive as standard, 800 CD-ROM titles have been developed for the FM-Towns. Apple has 300 Japanese titles, and FM Towns and Macintosh titles account for 90% of the Japanese market for multimedia software. From next year, all Fujitsu business personal computers will be released standard with a CD-ROM, said Mr Kuwahara. Fujitsu forecasts multimedia growing to comprise 10% by value of the Japanese personal computer market, a total of $10,000m.