Sun is challenging Microsoft in the race to push internet devices into the mass market after purchasing information appliance company Diba to launch Java-based electronics products for consumers.
The strategy for Diba, which will become Sun?s consumer technologies group, is to provide the hardware platform for OEM electronics and computer companies to manufacture Web TVs, set-top boxes, smart telephones and other consumer devices.
Sun CEO Scott McNealy has repeatedly stated that he sees Java as the software platform for these products.
Diba chairman Farid Dibachi said: ?We provide the platform for others so they can put together the complete product, which is simple to use and to manufacture. None of the products will sell millions, but the combination of all of them will.?
He said the two firms have been talking for many months, and the buy was not a reaction to Microsoft?s $425 million acquisition of Web TV in April.
Sun already makes Javastation, its $750 thin-client computer, but the firm?s president, Chet Silvestri, said Diba?s OEM products are targeted differently, as cheaper boxes are aimed mainly at consumers.
Privately held Diba was set up by a group of former Oracle employees in December 1995. All 79 employees will transfer to Sun under Silvestri.
Diba opened its first European office in November 1996, appointing former Silicon Graphics UK MD Nigel Seed as VP of European operations.
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