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CD-RW Industry Leaders Unveil DVD+RW Product-Shipment Plans
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 23, 1999--Hewlett-Packard Company, MCC/Verbatim, Philips Electronics, Ricoh Company Ltd., Sony Corporation and Yamaha Corporation, the industry leaders in CD-ReWritable technology, today announced their plans for shipping DVD+RW (DVD+ReWritable) drives and media. The announcement was made here at PC Expo, which runs through June 24.

HP, Sony and Philips announced that limited quantities of DVD+RW drives are currently being made available to strategic industry partners, with worldwide volumes expected to begin shipping this fall. MCC/Verbatim verified that it would ship DVD+RW media in the fall. Ricoh and Yamaha did not make specific product-availability announcements, but confirmed their commitment to the DVD+RW format. These six companies represent approximately 75 percent of the CD-ReWritable worldwide market, according to Santa Clara Consulting, a Calif.-based consulting group.

The 3GB DVD+RW specification is a natural evolution of the successful CD-RW format and provides customers with a growth path from CD to DVD. "DVD+RW technology is the best solution for rewritable DVD because of the link to CD-RW," said Robert van Eijk, vice president of Philips Optical Storage. "We are committed to providing DVD+RW products for both data and consumer video-recording applications."

Because DVD+RW discs do not require a cartridge, they potentially can be read by DVD-ROM drives at virtually no additional cost. "We are on track to ship our first DVD+RW products this fall," said Dirk Peters, general manager of Value-Added Products for Sony Electronics' Component Company. "We're excited that DVD+RW provides consumers with much-needed disc space without sacrificing compatibility."

DVD+RW is expected to appeal to home- and business-PC users who use memory-intensive applications that require high performance and capacity, such as multimedia, graphics, CAD, document imaging, digital photography and video applications. "Our customers have told us that they need higher speeds and more capacity," said Mike Matson, vice president and general manager of HP's Information Storage Group. "DVD+RW follows the same trend in storage capacity as computer systems -- higher performance and larger capacity."

MCC/Verbatim, a leading storage media supplier, confirmed that it would be shipping DVD+RW media in the fall. "MCC has been on the forefront of developing DVD+RW media," said Yoshimitsu Kobayashi, general manager of the Information Storage Products Department of MCC/Verbatim. "We have our production lines in place and are looking forward to shipping DVD+RW media for these exciting new products."

In addition to DVD+RW media, DVD+RW drives can read DVD-ROM, DVD movie, CD-RW, CD-Recordable (CD-R), CD-ROM and CD audio.

About HP's Information Storage Group

HP's Information Storage Group, which focuses on the rapidly growing extended-storage market, manufacturers and sells information-storage products based on tape, magneto-optical and CD-RW technologies. HP storage solutions include digital-audio-tape (DAT) drives and digital-linear-tape (DLT) libraries, minicartridge (QIC) tape drives and software, CD-ReWritable drives, and magneto-optical drives and jukeboxes.

About HP

Hewlett-Packard Company -- a leading global provider of computing and imaging solutions and services for business and home -- is focused on capitalizing on the opportunities of the Internet and the proliferation of electronic services.

HP had computer-related revenue of $39.5 billion in its 1998 fiscal year. HP plans to launch a new company consisting of its industry-leading test-and-measurement, semiconductor products, chemical-analysis and medical businesses. These businesses represented $7.6 billion of HP's total revenue in fiscal 1998. With leading positions in multiple market segments, this technology-based company will focus on opportunities such as communications and life sciences.

HP has 123,000 employees worldwide and had total revenue of $47.1 billion in its 1998 fiscal year. Information about HP, its products and the company's Year 2000 program can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.hp.com.

About Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation

Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC) is Japan's largest chemical company and one of the world's leading manufacturers of information storage products. In a line-up of data and image storage media, MCC holds a strong market share in markets such as DVD-R disks, CD-R and CD-RW disks, 90 mm and 130 mm MO disks, 130 mm WORM disks, hard disk media, as well as tape cartridges and floppy disks. Many of these products are marketed through Verbatim Corporation, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of MCC. Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation has approximately 12,000 employees, and on a consolidated basis recorded revenues of approximately $13 billion for the year ended March 31, 1998.

About Philips Electronics

Philips Optical Storage, a business group of Philips Electronics, is widely recognized as an industry leader in Compact Disc and related technologies, products and markets since the introduction of the first audio CD product in 1982. Philips is a major supplier of CD-ROM subassemblies and components to drive manufacturers and leads the industry in the rapidly growing market for CD-ReWritable drives. Through its strong position in both CD and DVD technologies, Philips is well positioned to offer leading-edge optical storage solutions to PC and audio/video markets for many years to come.

Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands is one of the world's biggest electronics companies and Europe's largest, with sales of US$ 33.9 billion in 1998. It is a global leader in color television sets, lighting, electric shavers, color picture tubes for televisions and monitors, and one-chip TV products. Its 233,700 employees in more than 60 countries are active in the areas of lighting, consumer electronics, domestic appliances, components, semiconductors, medical systems, business electronics, and IT services (Origin). Philips is quoted on the NYSE, London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and other stock exchanges. News from Philips is located at www.news.philips.com.

About Ricoh Company, Ltd.

Ricoh Company, Ltd. is one of the world's leading manufacturers of office equipment, including copiers, facsimiles and printers. Ricoh is the first manufacturer of CD-RW media and CD-R/RW drives, and is also a manufacturer of CD-R media. Ricoh immediately incorporates the latest CD-RW standards to produce high-speed reliable products. With the combination of media and drive technology, Ricoh is offering high performance and reliable optical disc products. The Ricoh group consists of 125 consolidated subsidiaries and affiliates in Japan and 203 overseas, which include production, sales as well as research and development facilities. As of March 1999, the Ricoh group employed approximately 65,000 people with recorded annual revenues of $11.8 billion.

About Sony Corporation

Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Its music, pictures and computer entertainment operations make Sony one of the most comprehensive companies in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of over $56 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1999.

As a leader of disc-based technologies, Sony manufactures and sells a variety of storage solutions, including media products such as CD, CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-video, DVD-ROM, Recordable MD, 90 and 130 mm MO and WORM discs, and 300 mm WORM discs, as well as disc drives, such as FDD, CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-ROM, DVD+RW, and MO. Sony also offers large storage DDS and AIT tape drives.

About Yamaha Corporation

Yamaha Corporation, the world's largest musical instrument manufacturer, offers a diversity of sound, music and multimedia products. Though Yamaha products have changed with the times and have seen extensive diversification, neither our products nor the foundation of our business has strayed from our original focus on sound. New Yamaha business ventures are expanding from our fundamental expertise in sound, music and multimedia.

Multimedia is an area of explosive growth, and innovative products such as Yamaha sound and image LSI are used widely in computers and game units. Yamaha also anticipates a substantial increase in CD-RW drives and other product sales central to the fast developing field of information technology.

Yamaha now owns 44 subsidiaries and representative offices in overseas markets in addition to numerous related companies in Japan. Yamaha recorded annual sales of $4.9 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, 1998.


Contact:
     Hewlett-Packard Company
     Caroline Brown, 970/635-6480
     [email protected]
       or
     MCC/Verbatim
     Gerry Kelly, +81-33-283-6760
     [email protected]
       or
     Philips Electronics
     Gary Yoshimura, 408/570-5693
     [email protected]
       or
     Ricoh Company, LTD.
     Hideaki Oba, +81-45-477-1831
     [email protected]
       or
     Sony Corporation
     Jim Leal, 408/955-4469
     [email protected]
       or
     Yamaha Corporation
     Atsushi Muramatsu, +81-53-962-3125
     [email protected]



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