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Have Plug, Can Play--Anywhere

FIRST THERE WAS PLUG-AND-PLAY TECHNOLOGY, which allows PC users who don't have PhDs in rocket science to easily plug printers and external disk drives into their computers.

Now, there's Universal Plug and Play (UPP). The software allows users to link PC devices with other devices, such as a portable scanner with a digital camera, without a ton of configuration hassles. For example, a salesman on the road could easily print out a document from his portable computer on his client's printer. That's because UPP assigns each device an Internet address to allow it to communicate with other devices over the Internet or corporate networks.

Microsoft Corp. was scheduled to introduce UPP at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Jan. 7. It is at least a partial response to Sun Microsystems Inc.'s JINI technology, a competing system that does some of the same things. But don't tell that to Microsoft. ''We've spent 10 years building this stuff. Sun just got started,'' sniffs Charles Fitzgerald, a group product manager at Microsoft.

By Steve Hamm
EDITED BY PETER ELSTROM


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Updated Jan. 7, 1999 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1999, Bloomberg L.P.
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