Bill Gates to Showcase Windows Innovation at WinHEC 2004

SEATTLE, May 4, 2004 — Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates will unveil the future of Windows®
computing — including an innovative Windows Home Concept PC developed in collaboration with HP — during his keynote address at the 13th annual Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) to be held May 4–7 in Seattle.

Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates making the keynote address at the 13th annual WinHEC in Seattle, May 4, 2004. Click image for high-res version.

WinHEC, the premier event for computer industry hardware manufacturers to learn about new trends in software and hardware, brings the Windows hardware community together each year to explore the future for the Windows platform and align around a common vision for the hardware industry. This year’s WinHEC showcases hardware, software and services coming together in an innovative fashion to create products that deliver compelling end-to-end experiences, resulting in opportunity for the entire industry.

Examples of the innovations to be highlighted at WinHEC 2004 include these:

  • The Windows Home Concept, a prototype of the next generation of hardware and software innovations designed to deliver the ultimate entertainment and communication experience in every room of the home

  • Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended Systems, scheduled to be released in the fourth quarter of 2004; a Driver Development Kit and enhancements including support for Visual Studio® .NET 2003 and the Microsoft®
    .NET Framework 1.1

  • The Devices Profile for Web Services specification detailing how to connect smart devices via Web services and preview developer kits

  • Universal Serial Bus (USB) Flash Drive technology for simple configuration of wireless network security

  • An updated version of Windows “Longhorn” developer preview code for device manufacturers to begin development of native Windows “Longhorn” device drivers

Gates’ Keynote Address to Outline Industry Imperatives for Seamless Computing

Gates will showcase Windows technologies and hardware advances that will drive the next wave of innovation in the PC industry. Gates will describe the hardware and software breakthroughs coming over the next several years, including advances in connected systems, information-driven scenarios and rich interfaces that deliver great experiences, that will bring the vision of seamless computing closer.

“Microsoft continues to work with partners and customers to lead industry innovation, and the Windows platform continues to be the development platform of choice for the hardware community,” Gates said. “The synergy between hardware and software is what provides customers with a seamless computing experience, making the technology in their lives work as a connected whole.”

Developed in partnership with HP, the Windows Home Concept represents a conceptualization of the ultimate in-home digital lifestyle hub and showcases the potential of the PC to provide compelling home entertainment, media management and communication experiences.

The Windows Home Concept (WHC) was designed to demonstrate and drive innovative advancements in several key areas that specifically target the seamless computing experience for the home:

  • System fundamentals. A simple-to-use system that is quiet, always available to respond and energy efficient, the WHC integrates wireless technologies, a broadband connection and multiple high-definition television tuners to deliver a reliable and responsive user experience.

  • Entertainment experiences and media management. The WHC is designed to provide leading-edge entertainment and media management capabilities throughout the home through interoperable devices and home network capabilities.

  • Integrated communications. The WHC is the center of home communication, integrating telephony, e-mail and messaging, and distributing these capabilities throughout the home and beyond to ensure a connected experience.

“HP’s collaboration with Microsoft today exemplifies our shared vision of delivering simple, innovative products for consumers looking for a rich, integrated entertainment and communications experience,” said John Romano, senior vice president of the Consumer PC Organization at HP. “The home computing concept is a great example of hardware and software developers working together to raise the bar for the future of home computing and entertainment.”

Changing the Computing Experience

In his keynote address, Jim Allchin, group vice president for the Platforms Group at Microsoft, will outline a vision for PCs and devices that will transform them from tools with technical value to vehicles for making people’s passions come alive.

Allchin will challenge the makers of hardware, software and services to take an experience-centric approach to innovation, which will drive the next wave of opportunity and growth for the computing industry.

“I’m a firm believer that the most successful companies will be the ones that understand how much people are looking for great experiences,” Allchin said. “By building great experiences we can not only do a better job where PCs are already strong, we can take the PC beyond the office and the den to places it hasn’t been before — like the living room, kitchen, bedroom, garage or even the wristwatch.”

Allchin will discuss how the combination of hardware and software innovation can solve real customer problems. For example, today PC users’ experience when utilizing a network-attached device is markedly different, and more complex, than the familiar Plug and Play experience. New Windows technology for network connected devices will unify the user experience. Users will now receive the same consistent experience every time, whether they connect to the network or directly to the PC. These Windows enhancements take advantage of Web services protocols. Allchin will announce key technology efforts including the following :

  • Windows Network Connected Device Technology (prerelease) CD enables developers to build Windows-based applications that can easily find and interact with devices using protocols. This CD also provides code generators and sample applications to help original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) implement Web services on devices.

  • Devices Profile for Web Services specification, co-authored by Intel Corporation, Lexmark International Inc., Microsoft and Ricoh Co. Ltd., provides prescriptive guidance on how devices can support Web services. The Devices Profile will be proposed to the UPnP Forum for consideration as the basis for the UPnP 2.0 Device Architecture.

Allchin will demonstrate an HP printer connecting to a Windows-based PC using the new Web services discovery protocol, making the network device installation process faster and easier for consumers. Both Canon and HP will showcase printers supporting these protocols at WinHEC 2004.

Highlighting additional evidence of the partner opportunity on the Windows platform, Microsoft announced that sales of Microsoft Windows XP operating system licenses on new PCs and in retail stores have exceeded 210 million since the product was launched. The Windows XP sales figure includes licenses for Windows XP Professional and Windows XP Home Edition sold through retail and original equipment manufacturer channels between the launch of Windows XP on Oct. 25, 2001, and March 2004.

Advancing the 64-Bit Strategy

According to Gates, Microsoft will strengthen its long-standing commitment to 64-bit computing. Gates will discuss the role of 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows running on both Intel Itanium 2 and AMD Opteron processors in setting the Internet2 Land Speed Record for networking and data transfer. He also will discuss how Microsoft is working with industry-leading partners to deliver high-performance, scalable operating systems to meet customer needs in this market.

Key to these changes is Microsoft’s work on Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended Systems, which will include end-user features such as the latest DirectX® application programming interface, System Restore, Windows Movie Maker 2, Windows Messenger and Windows Media®
Player. In addition, support for the award-winning application development platform Visual Studio .NET 2003 and the .NET Framework will enable developers to use their existing tools and .NET applications along with the enhanced performance characteristics of x64 systems such as AMD’s Athlon and Opteron as well as Intel Extended Memory 64 technology.

Windows Hardware Showcase

Microsoft often demonstrates a concept PC at WinHEC that drives innovation over the next 12 to 24 months. At WinHEC 2004, Microsoft will demonstrate how technologies and designs from last year’s concept, the “Athens” PC prototype, already are influencing trends in hardware and software development — from a proliferation of wide-screen displays to integrated wireless and telephony features.

Microsoft will demonstrate these and many other hardware and software innovations in a Hardware Showcase, where there will be a laptop with wide-screen, high-resolution display from Dell, a Tablet PC with a built-in microphone array for better audio from Toshiba America Inc., a laptop with built-in biometrics from Gateway Inc. that allows users to log onto Windows using a thumb scan, a USB biometrics storage and identification device from Sony Corporation of America, and an authentication and identification device from DigitalPersona Inc.This year’s Hardware Showcase also will feature innovations for home and enterprise users, including Windows XP Media Center Edition, wireless networking, Windows 64-bit computing, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) conferencing, Windows-connected devices and other Windows-based technologies.

WinHEC 2004 takes place May 4–7 at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center. Attendees at this year’s WinHEC will have the opportunity to explore implementation issues in technical seminars on foundation technologies; get step-by-step guidelines from Microsoft engineers for developing secure, high-performance Windows drivers; and learn the road maps and trends for innovation with Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Server (TM) 2003 and the next version of the Windows operating system, “Longhorn.”

More information can be found at .

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