Sony UK Ltd on Friday announced alliances with six local software developers in a drive to establish a major presence in the computer aided software engineering arena with its family of 68020 and 68030-based News Unix engineering workstations, to be shipped in Europe from June. The company has signed deals with Unix software tools specialist Ace BV of Amsterdam, Netherlands; the GEC Software Ltd arm of GEC Plc for its software engineering tools; PA Consulting Group of Cambridge, also in the software engineering field; office automation software developer, Uniplex Ltd of St Albans; Pergamon Compact Solutions Ltd, which has a licence to Knowledge Set from KRS Inc of Monterey, California; and mechanical design software specialist Femgen AB of Sweden. Negotiations are also under way with German software designers. Sony is looking for local distributors and resellers for the products, and, as reported, has chosen Heathrow, London based EMS Ltd to help it do so. Sony believes that to succeed in each country, it needs the backing of companies that understand the different software cultures and are able to offer appropriate software tools and business programmes. Volume shipments of News will start in September for the UK, June for France and July and September for Germany and Scandinavia respectively. The line consists of the NWS-721 diskless network station, built around a 20MHz 68020 with 68881 floating point co-processor. The MWS-1850 has two 25MHz 68030 processors with 68882 arithmetic co-processor and includes 64Kb cache, 16Mb main memory expandable to 32Mb, 286Mb Winchester, 125Mb streamer and a 1.44Mb 3.5 floppy (well Sony did invent the things). It includes Ethernet interface, parallel and two serial ports. The NWS-841 has 8Mb memory expandable to 16Mb, 8Kb cache, floppy and 286Mb Winchester. Pricing will be announced later. News was launched in Japan in October 1986 and now has over 200 applications software packages available. Volume ships began in January 1987, and 2,400 have been sold in Japan.