CableLabs will work with Microsoft, Liberate and Sun to craft the OpenCable Application Platform (OCAP) middleware-software specification for advanced digital set-top boxes.
The three chosen companies have been wrestling each other for cable acceptance and market share and must now work diplomatically together on the OCAP project that CableLabs and the cable industry expect to implement by the end of 2000.
The OCAP specification will allow software companies to write code and applications that run on any cable network that complies with the OpenCable initiative.
According to CableLabs, OCAP will consist of two major elements: an execution engine, which will provide a programmable environment, and a presentation engine, which will support Web-browser capabilities.
WorldGate, which just unveiled its own middleware, CableWare2000, isn't currently contributing to the OCAP spec, but it would be open to working with CableLabs on developing an open, industry-wide middleware specification, a company spokeswoman said.