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Mount Rainier Group Finalizes Specifications to Enhance CD-RW Technology

Broad Industry Support for the Mount Rainier Initiative to Enable Operating System Support of CD-RW Drives

ANAHEIM, Calif., May 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mount Rainier Group, led by industry leaders Compaq, Microsoft Corp., Philips Electronics, and Sony, have announced the finalization of the Mount Rainier specifications. The specifications are designed to fuel continued adoption of CD ReWritable as the removable medium of choice for data storage and interchange in a PC environment. The overall objective of the Mount Rainier group is to increase ease-of-use and compatibility of CD-RW by enabling Operating System support of CD-RW drives.

"Clearly, the work of the Mount Rainier group has been aimed at solving the right issues," said Eggert Gudmundsson, business development manager, Philips Optical Storage North America, which is coordinating the Mount Rainier group. "We are very pleased with the broad cross-industry support that we have received for our work. Close to forty leading companies, including PC-OEM's, drive makers, operating system suppliers, independent software vendors, and chip makers, have joined the work of the group and are supporting its quick adoption."

The Mount Rainier group will build on the success of CD-RW by enabling native operating system (OS) support of CD-RW drives and background formatting. This will ensure greater compatibility, eliminate users' dependence on proprietary read drivers, and make the technology easier to use.

The benefits to the consumer will include an overall enhanced "drag and drop" experience with even greater ease-of-use and compatibility with the worldwide installed base of more than 300 million CD-ROM drives. The PC industry will benefit based on a reduced overall system cost with less need for legacy support; additional functionality and continued market demand.

"Compaq is dedicated to simplifying our customers' computing experience," said Ken Bush, director of PC Storage Development at Compaq Computer Corporation. "Developing industry standards for CD-RW technology addresses two critical Compaq goals -- simplifying the customers' experience and lowering overall costs."

"Microsoft believes the future of removable consumer storage lies in optical media," said Carl Stork, general manager of Windows® Hardware Strategy at Microsoft. "Drives and media that support the Mt. Rainier technology will allow an aggressive path to floppy drive replacement because of their backwards compatibility and ease of use."

"Sony is pleased to join the opportunity in making the CD-RW technology easier-to-use and more accessible for PC users," said Katsuaki Tsurushima, corporate executive vice president of Sony Corporation. "Sony has played the role of licensor in promoting the Micro Floppy Disk system and has played an important role in the development and success of various CD-related systems, such as CD-ROM and CD-R. We will once again take a key role in enhancing the CD-RW technology for worldwide utilization."

In addition to the four core companies, the following companies have joined the work of the group as Contributors:

Acer, Ahead, BHA, Calimetrics, Cirrus Logic, Dell, Eclipse, Gateway, Hitachi, Iomega, Kyushu Matsushita Electric, LG, Linux, Mitsubishi Chemical, Matsushita Kotobuki Electronics, Mediatech, Mitsumi, NEC, Oak, OPT, Pacific Digital, Pioneer, Plextor, Prassi, Ricoh, Roxio, Samsung, Sanyo, Shinano Kenshi, Software Architects, Teac, WPI, Yamaha, and Zen Research.

More information on the Mt. Rainier Group is available at

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