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Tech Industry

Firms eye software compatibility

Eleven Japanese firms are preparing to develop software that boosts compatibility among computers and other information equipment.

    Eleven of Japan's more prominent hardware makers and systems developers, including Toshiba and IBM Japan, have agreed to jointly develop software linking computers, Internet-capable phones, and other information equipment, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported yesterday.

    The companies plan to set up an organization on October 2 to oversee the project.

    Fujitsu, Hitachi, and two other firms already involved in similar research for mainframes will be joined by Toshiba, IBM Japan, NEC, Nihon Unisys, Toyo Information Systems, Nihon Sun Microsystems, and Oracle Japan, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said.

    Later in 1997, the companies will begin trying to make their mainframes, servers, and software interoperable. They plan to link their machines with software based on the CORBA object-oriented communication architecture.

    The scope of the experiments will be extended next year to include portable information equipment and Internet-capable phones, company sources said.