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CEO Glasgow Touts Sony's Consumer Focus

10/23/2006 02:00:00 AM Eastern

New York — Stan Glasgow, president/CEO of Sony Electronics, delivered a keynote address at the DigitalLife show at the Javits Center here, providing an overview of the company's “consumer-centric” strategy by highlighting its new handheld and home products.

Many of the products Glasgow mentioned were described as being “unique products ... that are examples of how Sony is creating new experiences and new product uses for consumers.”

“Over the coming months and years you'll see an increasing number of Sony devices that connect directly to the Internet, bypassing the PC entirely,” Glasgow said. “These devices will enable consumers to access and share content on the go, greatly expanding their utility and desirability.”

He said, “A great example of that is 'MYLO' which stands for 'my life online.' And that's exactly what the product delivers.”

Glasgow described MYLO as being able to “easily connect to available Wi-Fi and give users quick access to instant messaging communities on Yahoo!, Google and Skype. MYLO allows users to surf the Web, check e-mail, and comes with Skype Internet voice calling so users can make calls anywhere in the world using an existing broadband connection.

He said that by adding a small Memory Stick, “it's also a music player ... a video player ... and a picture viewer.”

Glasgow also announced that Sony has entered a “one-of-a-kind” partnership with T-Mobile hot spots to provide MYLO owners with a year's worth of complimentary service. This service is available in over 7,000 locations including many Starbucks, Borders Stores, FedEx Kinkos and at several airline clubs.

The Sony Reader was another product illustrating the manufacturer's new approach. The reader is “roughly the size of a paperback novel, but at only a half an inch thin ... the device can store about 80 books in internal memory. And hundreds more with the addition of an optional memory stick or SD flash memory card.”

“One of the most revolutionary things about the reader is our electronic paper display, which delivers a realistic print look that rivals traditional paper. And unlike a computer display ... there's no backlight or flicker to cause eyestrain,” Glasgow said, adding that Sony has agreements with major publishing companies who have made more than 10,000 titles available through Sony's Connect Online Service.

The Sony CEO also lauded the Vaio UX Micro PC, what he described as “the world's first fully functional pocket-sized PC.” The unit, which weighs just over a pound and comes equipped with Microsoft Windows XP, has a 4.5-inch display that slides up to reveal an integrated keyboard.”

He noted that the unit can “toggle between wireless WAN, LAN and Bluetooth, giving a person multiple methods to get online.” Additional functions include surfing the Net, videoconferencing, taking pictures, playing video games or sending e-mail. “This device has the same functionality as a larger notebook.”

Glasgow also reviewed the features of previously announced products such as the Alpha Digtal SLR camera, a 10-megapixel unit with a line of 19 lenses; the SXRD Qualia 0-0-4 HDTV projector; Sony's BRAVIA LCD lineup, which he reminded the audience appeals to “both men and women” and has taken major market share since last year; and the launch of Blu-ray Disc hardware from Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, Philips and Pioneer, and software titles from Sony Pictures and a variety of movie studios.

Concerning Blu-ray, he reminded the DigitalLife audience that Blu-ray is also part of the Vaio computer line, that Sony supplies recordable and rewritable media and that its first Blu-ray player, the BDP-S1 Home Deck will be available along with the launch of PlayStation3 later this fall.

Glasgow mentioned Sony's “HD World” HDTV consumer education effort, which he called “a multimillion dollar initiative that will educate the market by highlighting all of Sony's numerous full HD offerings including HDTV, Blu-ray and compatible A/V components, as well as Vaio PCs, Handycams and recordable media and entertainment content.

In November Sony will launch a dedicated Web site to educate consumers and retailers on Sony's “HD World,” with a goal of having “100 million people experience full HD during the holiday season at retail.”

He added, “We're inviting consumers into retailers and our Sony style stores to take the 'HD test drive' and experience high-definition for themselves.”