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November 2, 1999

Microsoft Increases UPnP Activity

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft Corp and others have formed Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) Forum Steering Committee to help set the agenda, technology focus and guiding principles for the UPnP Forum – which is pushing the consortium’s version of home networking over rivals like Jini from Sun Microsystems Inc. One of the main objectives of the forum is establish interoperability between UPnP and Home Audio/Visual interoperability (HAVi) devices, being championed by Philips Electronics and Sony.

You can think of the UPnP Steering Committee as sort of an ‘advisory board’ to the Forum, said a spokesperson for Microsoft, by driving the process and agenda and taking a lead role in defining the device categories. Aside from the initial objectives of getting organized, the overall goal of the UPnP Forum is to build upon the open protocols that are pervasive today – internet and web protocols. And in a veiled reference to Sun’s Jini, the spokesperson said: Instead of requiring a new proprietary platform that benefits a small handful of companies and intellectual property owners, UPnP is an architecture that will be freely available to anyone interested in developing simply-connected devices and services. UPnP forum members include IBM, Intel, Hewlett Packard, Siemens and Sony.

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