Microsoft, Toshiba Get a Little Closer

Microsoft and Toshiba have entered into a wide-ranging agreement that will allow the two companies to share hardware and software technologies. The deal aims to accelerate the delivery to the market of new Microsoft technologies in electronic devices.

Both companies made it clear that the intellectual property rights would be respected.

Although details of the agreement were only announced Monday, Microsoft said that a cross-licensing agreement of technologies had been signed in April of 2005.

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"Microsoft values our strong relationship with Toshiba, a company we admire for its long-standing commitment to innovation," Microsoft's Bill Gates said in prepared remarks. "This agreement demonstrates our desire to share our innovations with other companies in ways that promote the spread of new ideas -- and benefit customers by accelerating the development of exciting new products."

Toshiba's HD-DVD technology will be mixed with Microsoft's Windows CE operating system to investigate the feasibility of a player using the embedded OS. Also, Microsoft and Toshiba will look into iHD, a new DVD interactivity format.

The companies will also continue to jointly market new Tablet and Media Center PCs.

Atsutoshi Nishida, president and CEO of Toshiba says the company is excited to take their partnership with Microsoft to "the next level," as well as mentioning Microsoft and Toshiba's work on the company's next-gen DVD format. Toshiba has agreements with Microsoft dating back to 1985.

"We look forward to extending the scope of our relations to encompass HD-DVD, a major driver of the next-generation consumer electronics," Nishida said.

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