New BTRON-Specification OS Hits the Market

- Based on the BTRON3 Specification -

Personal Media Corporation began marketing on July 18, 1998, a new 32-bit BTRON-specification operating system for IBM-PC/AT compatibles. Based on the BTRON3 specification that was heretofore aimed at workstations based on TRONCHIP-specification CPUs, the new operating system, "B-right/V," was introduced earlier in the year in prototype form under the tentative name of "3B/V."

B-right/V, which is list priced at 40,000 yen (consumption tax not included), comes bundled with a full suite of productivity applications. These include:

B-right/V was originally supposed to be introduced with the full BTRON multilingual environment, which can handle all known Chinese characters (kanji ) in China, Japan, and Korea. However, due to a delay in the GT-Mincho project at the University of Tokyo, where an outline font of 64,000 kanji is being created, the company decided to release the new operating system in its present form so that other users could start enjoying its advanced features. Those include include high-resolution graphics, full color, virtual memory, and TCP/IP support.

Even without the huge GT-Mincho font, B-right/V is still the personal computer operating system that can handle more characters than any other operating system on the Japanese market. In addition to the standard 6,335 characters of JIS levels 1 and 2, it comes loaded with 6,067 JIS auxiliary kanji, the 7,445 characters of the Chinese GB character set, the 8,224 characters of the Korean KS character set, and even 6-point and 8-point Braille. Altogether the B-right/V operating system has roughly 30,000 characters, which can be freely mixed together. Once the GT-Mincho font becomes available, Personal Media said it will upgrade the B-right/V operating system to handle it. Unlike Unicode-based computers, there is no limit to the number of characters that a BTRON-specification computer can handle.

Compared to other 32-bit personal computer operating systems on the market in Japan, B-right/V's main selling points are: (1) that it is more compact than any other 32-bit operating system on the market, which allows it to run well even on older hardware; (2) it is the only personal computer operating system with a hypermedia filing system as its standard filing system, making it easy to create hypermedia databases of the type seen on the World Wide Web; and (3) it can handle large character sets and multilingual processing better than anything else on the market. A comparison with Microsoft Corp.'s MS-Windows operating system is given below.

Personal Media demonstrated B-right/V in a display booth at "Windows World Expo 98," which was held in Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture between July 1 and July 4, 1998. For shots of the display booth, please click here.

Those with Japanese language ability and a Japanese enabled browser can obtain more information about B-right/V at the following URL.

Those considering purchasing B-right/V should take a look at the following frequently asked questions and answers below.

B-right/V FAQ

Please keep in mind that B-right/V is a work that is still very much in progress. Make sure it has the functionality you desire before you purchase it. Also, please keep in mind that the IBM-PC/AT compatible personal computer architecture that B-right/V runs on is "not a single standard" owned by a single company or organization. It's more like a "personal computer architecture theme," of which there are many variations. Accordingly, in the IBM-PC/AT compatible world, there is no 100% guarantee that anything will work as it is supposed to.

B-right/V is a registered trademark of Personal Media Corporation