Brother Brings Computing to the Masses

Brother Announces Plan to Bring "Computing to the Masses" Forms strategic alliance to implement strategy and previews first Desktop Publishing Product with web browser

This information is for U.S.A. only.

New York, NY, June 18, 1996 -- Brother International Corporation unveiled its vision of delivering advanced computing solutions for the mass consumer market. Brother intends to develop a wide range of affordable computing devices, including handheld and desktop products, with internet capability.

Brother, "the Ultimate Home Office Company," will be the company able to implement a viable strategy to bring "computing to the masses," said Dean F. Shulman, Senior Vice President for Brother International Corporation. "We will offer a complete range of fully functional products that combine PC-Level productivity with internet accessibility-but do so without the cost or time constraints inherent in their PC counterparts, and without the requirement to be on-line dependent."

Showing that their commitment was indeed a serious one, the company then announced they had formed a number of strategic partnerships with market leaders including GeoWorks, Vadem, and EarthLink. "The combination of our resources and the unique strengths of these companies make for a synergy that will invariably result in a product line that exceeds our capabilities as individual companies," said Shulman.

"Brother is taking advantage of the latest innovations in technology, including the rapidly expanding presence of the internet into the home, to deliver on our vision of bringing computing to the masses," said Shulman. "We intend to develop products that combine advanced technology, an easy to use experience, and an affordable price point to bring the power of computing to the average consumer."

The opportunity here is with the 65 percent of the country that, due to a combination of cost and/or no desire to spend countless hours with manuals, does not yet own a computer. "The only people who say that PC's are easy to use are people who use PC's," said Shulman. Despite the hype, the consumer market for PC's is leveling at about 35-40 percent, and the percentage of that market which actually uses on-line services is even less. Take a scenario where the consumer is offered a single box, truly total solution-CPU, keyboard, color monitor, built in color ink jet printer and high speed modem-plus an entire suite of totally intuitive communications, productivity and desktop publishing software. Now price all that for way less than any entry level non-bundled PC and you suddenly have a product that directly eliminates the reservations of the 65 percent of non-PC America-and exactly the type of product Brother will be showing at PC Expo.

Brother International Corporation will be previewing the new DP-800, the first truly affordable complete solution to bring "Computing to the Masses" at PC Expo, Booth #2770. This Desktop Publishing System with internet browser, is a two piece configuration with color CRT, built-in color ink jet printer, keyboard, mouse, 1.44 MB disk drive and built-in complete software suite, which allows true plug and play. Shulman stated, "Our idea of plug and play is simply plug it in and use it." No compatibility issues, no upgrade problems, no driver conflicts.

The DP-800 applications include, full desktop publishing with scaleable fonts, Lotus® compatible spreadsheet with easy to use templates, addressbook, calendar, ability to import and export graphics, built-in modem and communications including the ability to go on-line and access the internet for e-mail and browsing.

The DP-800 is based on Vadem's single chip CPU design, which offers integrated control of CPU, video control and memory management, at a fraction of the power and hardware requirements of conventional processors.

Brother will license GeoWorks Geos® operating system and suite of applications as the core technology for the DP-800, as well as future products. Geos provides a graphical, compact and efficient open platform that will help enable Brother to reach its product design and aggressive pricing goals.

To provide access to the internet, the DP-800 will utilize Vadem's new "Volley" Technology to browse the web. "Rather than starting with a PC and stripping out capabilities in search of affordability, Brother integrated Vadem's Net communications technology to a mass market product," said Chikok Shing, President of Vadem. "Our technology enables Brother to hit the strict cost and usability targets imposed by such markets."

EarthLink will provide Brother International Corporation's gateway to the internet. EarthLink Network is one of the largest national "pure internet" access providers in North America. It provides local 28.8 kbps internet access and business internet services from more than 255 points of presence in the U.S. and Canada.

"Brother understands the needs and desires of mass market consumers and is in a position to leverage its well established brand name, distribution channel and aggressive pricing strategy to get innovative Geos-based product into the hands of the average consumer. Until now, many of these individuals and families have been unable to take advantage of the power of computing because it is too expensive or too complex," said Gordon Mayer, President and CEO for GeoWorks.

GeoWorks, thanks to its efficient use of processor and memory, has become the GUI system of choice for a number of specialty and professional platform productivity products including PDA's, digital organizers and, most recently, Brother's new DP-800, desktop publisher with web browser.

Somerset, New Jersey is the corporate headquarters for Brother in the Americas, (from Canada to South America) and has fully integrated sales, marketing, services, manufacturing, research and development capabilities, located here in the US. In addition to its headquarters in Somerset, New Jersey, Brother has branches in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Texas, as well as subsidiaries in Ohio, Canada, Brazil, Chile and Mexico.

All trademarks and registered trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective companies.

Source: comp.os.geos