Software giant Oracle Corp. will unveil new technology today that it hopes will serve as the basic foundation of the information superhighway.The technology, a software platform called a media server, promises to manage huge quantities of information and deliver it to homes at affordable prices. Oracle gave a preview of the technology in a teleconference with reporters on Monday. It will formally unveil its media server at a video press conference at CBS Television City today, with Walter Cronkite moderating. “Everything that’s being demonstrated is possible to be deployed today,” said Gerald Held, an Oracle senior veepee. Oracle, in order to establish a standard platform for the burgeoning multibillion dollar industry, said it has inked 17 major alliances with multinational companies. Among those signed on are Bell Atlantic Corp., which will use Oracle’s technology in its interactive multimedia system, as well as General Instruments Corp., which will make sure its set-top boxes are compatible with Oracle’s technology. Held said one of Oracle’s goals was to make sure the technology didn’t have the same problems of user-friendliness that have plagued the personal computer business for years. “The personal computer in the home has been a complete failure,” said Held, who noted that people use their TVs significantly more than their PCs. “One of the big challenges is to come up with an environment that looks as little like a computer as possible.” Oracle’s history has been largely in managing huge databases for industry. Oracle also announced a 100-person emerging technologies consulting group to help companies develop, integrate and deploy its multimedia services and support systems.
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