LOS ANGELES, April 7, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. President Steve Ballmer opened the Windows® Hardware Engineering Conference and Exhibition (WinHEC) 99 with a presentation outlining the company’s key initiatives for simplifying and enriching the Microsoft® Windows operating system computing experience for all customers. Highlights included the announcement of a new consumer version of Windows scheduled to be delivered in 2000, new developments around the Universal Plug and Play initiative, and a new server appliance based on the Windows NT® Embedded operating system that makes it easy for small businesses to become networked.
“The PC industry has made computing broadly accessible, and it has become a part of the everyday lives of consumers and businesses today,”
said Steve Ballmer, president of Microsoft.
“As an industry, we have continued to innovate and work together to further simplify and enhance the PC with advancements like the Easy PC initiative and the Windows Server Appliance, both co-developed with Intel and announced today at WinHEC.”
Over the years, WinHEC has established itself as one of the most important conferences
for the Windows-based hardware industry. Now in its eighth year, the conference has served as the launch venue for new initiatives, standards and technologies for the Windows platform.
Ballmer Announces New Product Initiatives
Ballmer’s announcements included developments that will benefit both consumers and businesses. For consumers, a new version of Windows will include advances in digital media handling, home networking, Internet technologies and significant improvements in the ease of installation and overall use. The new consumer version of Windows is scheduled to be available sometime in 2000. (In March, Microsoft announced Windows 98 Second Edition, which is scheduled to be broadly available this fall and will feature enhancements to Internet technologies in Windows 98, such as Internet Connection Sharing and the award-winning Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 browser software.) In addition, Ballmer announced the Windows Image Acquisition architecture, designed to increase overall ease of use of imaging on Windows-based PCs.
For business, Ballmer announced a new server appliance whose feature set and ease of installation and use were designed specifically for small businesses. The Windows Server Appliance is based on the Windows NT Embedded operating system and was jointly developed by Intel Corp. and Microsoft. The Windows Server Appliance is scheduled to be available in the second half of 1999. Ballmer also provided the first public demonstration for 64-bit Windows.
Microsoft Partners With the Industry
Demonstrating growing momentum behind the Universal Plug and Play initiative, Ballmer announced more than 20 new hardware vendor partners as well as the formation of an industry working group focused on development of Universal Plug and Play standards. Universal Plug and Play is a cross-industry effort to define a set of common interfaces that describe devices and services, allow automatic discovery when a device is plugged into a network, and allow other devices and people to use them without complicated setup or configuration.
Microsoft and Intel named their ease-of-use initiative, a multiyear vision targeted at improving the overall PC experience for customers, the Easy PC Initiative. The initiative is focused on making the PC easier to set up, expand and use by reducing legacy hardware and incorporating new hardware and operating system enhancements.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
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