SEATTLE, April 18, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates wrapped up the 11th annual Windows® Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2002 today with a keynote address forecasting an exciting future for the personal computer. Gates outlined the companys vision for the Digital Decade, a time in which the computing experience for businesses and consumers alike will evolve to encompass a broad range of connected devices and services, creating an incredibly vibrant and versatile PC ecosystem.
“Just a few years ago the PC was a stand-alone device used simply for personal productivity,”
“Today, its versatility is unmatched: It helps us learn, communicate, be entertained, run businesses and work smarter than ever. Its also becoming the command center for an increasing and dazzling array of smart devices. We expect that trend to accelerate throughout this Digital Decade, as the stand-alone PC, TV, telephone and associated devices are replaced by a world of interconnected user experiences.”
With a host of PCs, displays and other devices on stage, Gates outlined and then demonstrated upcoming advancements that will improve the productivity of business and home PC users. PCs with oversized display screens and real-time communications capabilities provided a glimpse of where the desktop computing experience is headed. Taking a step toward eliminating the
“cable overload” many PC users feel as they connect new devices to their PCs, Gates made several announcements regarding Bluetooth™
, a radio technology that can be used for reliable wireless connections up to 30 feet away from the computer:
Microsoft hardware support for Bluetooth wireless technology. The worlds first commercially available Bluetooth-enabled wireless mouse and keyboard desktop solution was unveiled at WinHEC. These Microsoft® hardware products are expected to be available during the second half of 2002. Consumers now will be able to quickly and easily create a personal area network (PAN), enabling them to wirelessly link their Bluetooth-enabled portable devices and peripherals to their computers by simply plugging in Microsofts USB Bluetooth transceiver.
Windows XP SDK for Bluetooth wireless technology. The company will release a software development kit (SDK) for Bluetooth in May 2002 to aid hardware and software developers building Bluetooth-compatible devices for Windows XP.
Microsofts efforts to deliver technologies addressing the demands of the Digital Decade are most apparent in the companys consumer strategy. Since the unveiling of that strategy in January, an array of hardware developers has already begun building new devices based on Microsofts code-named
Windows technologies. Gates also demonstrated how the next generation of Windows Media™
will offer consumers new high-definition video and surround-sound experiences on the PC and a variety of devices in the home. Gates made a number of announcements at WinHEC in support of the consumer initiative:
Leading consumer electronics manufacturers commit to delivering
-enabled smart displays. Fujitsu Ltd., NEC Corp., Toshiba Corp. and Wistron Corp. are building a new generation of smart display devices based on Microsoft Windows technology, currently code-named
which allows consumers to extend their Windows XP experience throughout the home. Recognizing the growing trend of consumers wanting to extend their Windows XP experience throughout the home, Toshiba, a leading innovator in the mobile PC and handheld device market, will be delivering a
remote mobile monitor. Wistron, a leading design and original equipment manufacturer, is developing a 10.4-inch remote mobile monitor. In addition to developing
-enabled smart displays, Fujitsu and NEC plan to deliver Windows XP-based PCs with integrated wireless support to act as
hosts. Consumers around the world are scheduled to see
-enabled smart display devices by Christmas 2002.
is the code name for a set of Windows technologies that will enable a new generation of wireless smart displays that give people the freedom to experience the power of Windows XP from anywhere in their home.
displays will come in a variety of form factors, including primary detachable monitors and remote mobile monitors.
Philips licenses protocol for Windows remote control. Royal Philips Electronics will license its infrared (IR) remote-control protocol to manufacturers for use in Windows infrared remote controls, enabling remote controls to interact with the
user interface on PCs or future electronics devices.
Microsoft Consumer Experience Partner Program. Microsoft will work with industry partners to develop infrastructure and platform technologies for future consumer technology. In addition, Microsoft is introducing the Microsoft Consumer Experience Center (MCX Center) on the Microsoft campus. The center is designed to illustrate the possibilities of home computing by encouraging interaction with Microsoft consumer products and those of key partners in an integrated holistic environment.
In addition, Gates described the companys continued investment in its consumer vision as evidenced by the Microsoft Home on campus. The Microsoft Home is a concept facility that illustrates real-life scenarios in a home-like setting five to eight years from now. It explores possible future developments and demonstrates how future consumers may use technology in their homes.
Gates highlighted progress in the enterprise segment with a demonstration that showed Microsoft software — including Windows XP, Windows .NET Server and the companys flagship database, SQL Server™
2000 — running on Hewlett-Packard Co. computers equipped with next-generation Intel Corp. Itanium family processors. Gates also spoke about Microsofts investments in storage and technical innovations, which are being driven by the companys new Enterprise Storage Division. In addition, Gates conducted a demonstration of a wide-screen multiprojector display designed to provide an immersive experience for the user, thereby increasing productivity.
Trustworthy Computing in the Digital Decade
In front of an audience representing a wide range of hardware and software developers and designers, Gates noted the necessity of trustworthy computing — making computing as dependable as telephony or electricity — for realizing the Digital Decade. Gates emphasized the importance of industrywide commitment and focus through the design, development and maintenance of hardware and software products.
Noting that trustworthy computing requires more than a security focus alone, Gates gave the audience an overview of the companys ongoing efforts to improve software quality, thereby improving system availability and reliability for users, through the error-reporting functionality built into Windows XP. This capability allows Microsoft to provide error feedback information from individuals using Windows XP at work or at home to the hardware and software partners that develop devices and applications for Windows. The feedback mechanism allows partners to quickly detect and easily track software failures, and offer updates and fixes through Windows Update or their own Web sites. The initiative also protects users privacy by collecting the information anonymously and by requesting permission from users before sharing their data.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.
Microsoft, Windows and Windows Media are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Bluetooth is a trademark owned by Bluetooth SIG Inc. and used by Microsoft under license.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
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