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December 1, 1991


By CBR Staff Writer

Lack of interest among US and European venture capitalists threatens to hand the global software industry over to Japan Inc on a plate. Almost all the young companies developing and using the vital technologies – led by object-oriented programming, which promises the biggest revolution in the history of the software industry, are winning eager backing from Japanese companies that have spotted that once object standards are established, all their disadvantages in competing with the US software industry will disappear: they will be able to create marketable applications by buying objects off the shelf. The latest instance of the trend comes right here in the UK, where Tomen Electronics Co has invested UKP720,000 for a 5.3% stake in X.desktop developer IXI Ltd of Cambradge, and will also establish an equally-owned company with IXI in Japan. Tomen also gets a seat on the IXI board. The new IXI Japan Inc, to be capitalised at some $80,000, will have Tomen Electronics president Ishikawa as its president. It will start life with just four employees. Tomen is already the local distributor of X.desktop, but under the new agreement, gets the whole of the Far East, where initial plans include a Korean version, with all marketing in the region to be handled by the trading company’s existing network.

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