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Toshiba open to Windows CE

The company will adopt the Windows CE OS across a range of products, the first Japanese firm to do so on such a big scale, according to a report.

Toshiba will adopt the Windows CE operating system across a range of products, the first Japanese firm to do so on such a broad scale, according to a Japan-based report.

Toshiba Information Systems in Japan will use Microsoft's Windows CE in consumer digital electronics products, car navigation systems, and other information appliances, according to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Japan's largest business daily. The newspaper cited company sources.

The report said that, to date, the software development arm of Toshiba has designed specific operating systems for specific products. However, now it appears that this will change since it now sees "potential demand for products based on a widely recognized platform," the newspaper said.

Sales derived from Windows CE products and businesses is targeted at 4 billion yen by 2001, according to the report. Toshiba has signed deals with Microsoft to both market Windows CE as well as build systems. It is the first Japanese company to fashion such an agreement with Microsoft, the report said.

Matsushita, Sony, and others have cut more limited deals with Microsoft.

The agreement covers consumer information appliances, car navigation systems, advanced personal digital assistants, mobile phones, and other systems, according to the Japanese newspaper.

The report added that Toshiba will provide microcontrollers, operating systems, application software, and related services to manufacturers developing such equipment and systems.