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RealNetworks takes an open-source approach

Mon, 07/22/2002 - 8:00pm
Susan Rush

RealNetworks has attempted to take another jab at its biggest competitor, software giant Microsoft Corp., with the introduction on a digital media software that supports various file formats for audio and video, including Microsoft's Windows Media technology and Apple's QuickTime.

The open-source software, dubbed Helix, is designed to enable a company to use a single server to stream content no matter the format, rather than having to use multiple programs.

RealNetworks has established the Helix Community, which consists of 29 companies, including CollabNet, Cisco Systems, Hitachi, HP, Intel, Nokia, Oracle, PalmSource, Sony Corp. and Sun Microsystems. The Helix Community will offer two license structures: the RealNetworks Community Source License and the RealNetworks Public Source License. RealNetworks expects to make the initial client source code available within 90 days.

"When you have all these different platforms, and all these different protocols, it gets unmanageable," said Rob Glaser, RealNetworks' founder and CEO. "A lot of what (this technology) is about is breaking those bottlenecks and making convergence really converge."

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