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Motorola, Sun in Major Licensing Deal for Java

January 27, 1998|From Reuters

Electronics giant Motorola Inc. and software maker Sun Microsystems Inc. on Monday unveiled the biggest licensing agreement ever for Sun's Java programming language, which lets software run on all kinds of computers.

Under the agreement, Motorola will use Java technology in products ranging from semiconductors, smart cards, automotive components, wireless devices such as cellular phones and pagers, to advanced electronics systems and computers.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Sun President Alan Baratz said the deal is a revenue-bearing licensing agreement for Sun, but he did not provide details.

Sun executives portrayed the deal as a big step in moving the Java language into the arena for consumer electronics devices. Earlier this month, cable television giant Tele-Communications Inc. said it will use Sun's PersonalJava software in millions of television set-top boxes.

Sun and Motorola said they would cooperate to bring Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola's expertise in communications and embedded systems to Java. Embedded systems are devices that control a specific function, such as a chip that controls the brakes in an automobile or a computer printer.

"It's a landmark partnership, but in terms of real market impact, it will take months and possibly years for us to see real market impact in terms of products," said Evan Quinn, an analyst at International Data Corp.

Motorola shares rose $1.44 to close at $56.69 on the New York Stock Exchange; Sun shares fell 88 cents to close at $45.13 on Nasdaq.

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