Microsoft Announces That Industry-Leading PC OEM Packard Bell Will Develop Windows Powered Smart Displays

HANOVER, Germany, March 12, 2003 — At CeBIT 2003 today, Microsoft Corp. announced that Packard Bell, the consumer division of NEC Computers International (NEC CI) and one of Europe’s home PC leaders , is joining a growing number of industry-leading computer and display manufacturers worldwide in developing a Windows® Powered Smart Display. Packard Bell will develop a 10-inch Smart Display that will be available in Europe by the end of the first half of 2003. Smart Displays are wireless, touch-screen monitors that make it possible for consumers to use their Microsoft®
Windows XP-based PC anywhere in the house.*

“Smart Displays will enable new, exciting user scenarios for consumers who demand the richness of the PC to be delivered in a flexible way anywhere in the home,”
said Keith White, senior director of the Embedded and Appliance Platforms Group at Microsoft.
“We’re excited to be working with Packard Bell, which is known for its innovative capabilities on its industry-leading PC, and believe that Smart Displays are a natural complement to the company’s product line.”

“Smart Displays embody the next logical evolution of the monitor, and we are excited to be working with Microsoft to develop this new device category and integrate it into our product line,”
said Aymar de Lencquesaing, vice president of sales and marketing for the Consumer Division at NEC CI.
“Combined with our PC products, Packard Bell Smart Displays provide consumers with the mobility they demand while enabling them to access the power of their Windows XP-based PC virtually whenever and wherever they want in their home. Smart Displays combine advanced Microsoft software with best-in-class Packard Bell solutions to deliver one of the first truly wireless monitors, enabling multiple new uses of the home computer.”

Recognizing the growing trend of consumers who want to enjoy the rich features of Windows XP in more-relaxed settings, Microsoft and industry partners are developing a variety of wireless monitors. Manufacturers developing Smart Displays or solutions for Smart Displays include AboCom Systems Inc., BenQ Corp., Fujitsu Ltd., Intel Corp., LG Electronics Inc., National Semiconductor Corp., NEC Corp., Philips Consumer Electronics Co., Samsung Electronics, Tatung Co., TriGem Computer Inc., ViewSonic Corp., Wistron Corp. and Wyse Technology Inc.

Smart Displays were launched in the United States on Jan. 8 at the 2003 Consumer Electronics Show and, from March 12, will be available for purchase from selected retail outlets across Europe.

About Smart Displays

Smart Displays are wireless, touch-screen monitors that let consumers use their home computer from anywhere in their home. They can surf the Web from the couch, check e-mail while lying in bed, download recipes in the kitchen or share digital pictures on the patio. Smart Displays extend the power of Windows XP, providing access to the information, applications and Internet services users enjoy most on their PC from any room in the house, any time they want it. Smart Displays free users from the home office and let them enjoy more-relaxed computing anywhere in the home.

About Microsoft

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.

* Normal operating range will cover all of most houses, but range may vary depending on manufacturer hardware, connection speed and environmental conditions.

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