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Proceedings Paper

Multimedia systems overview: the big picture
Author(s): Alfred Riccomi
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Paper Abstract

The golden opportunities represented by multimedia systems have been recognized by many. The risk and cost involved in developing the products and the markets has led to a bonanza of unlikely consortia of strange bedfellows. The premier promoter of personal computing systems, Apple Computer, has joined forces with the dominant supplier of corporate computing, IBM, to form a multimedia technology joint venture called Kaleida. The consumer electronics world's leading promoter of free trade, Sony, has joined forces with the leader of Europe's protectionist companies, Philips, to create a consumer multimedia standard called CD-I. While still paying lip service to CD-I, Sony and Philips now appear to be going their separate ways. The software world's most profitable/fastest growing firm, Microsoft, has entered into alliances with each and every multimedia competitor to create a mish mash of product classes and defacto standards. The battle for Multimedia Standards is being fought on all fronts: on standards committees, in corporate strategic marketing meetings, within industry associations, in computer retail stores, and on the streets. Early attempts to set proprietary defacto standards were fought back, but the proprietary efforts continue with renewed vigor. Standards committees were, as always, slow to define specifications, but the official standards are now known nd being implemented; ... but the proprietary efforts continue with renewed vigor. Ultimately, the buyers will decide -- like it or not. Success by the efforts to establish proprietary defacto standards could prove to be a boon to the highly creative and inventive U.S. firms, but at the cost of higher prices for consumers and slower market growth. Success by the official standards could bring lower prices for consumers and fast market growth, but force the higher-wage/higher-overhead U.S. firms to compete on a level playing field. As is always the case, you can't have your cake and eat it too.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 January 1993
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 1785, Enabling Technologies for High-Bandwidth Applications, (20 January 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.139271
Show Author Affiliations
Alfred Riccomi, Multimedia PC Systems (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1785:
Enabling Technologies for High-Bandwidth Applications
Jacek Maitan, Editor(s)

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