Microsoft touts PCs, Longhorn, CE

Microsoft has outlined a future model for PCs, the successor to Windows XP, and an upcoming iteration of Windows CE, all of which the company hopes will improve how users interact with computers.

One analyst sees the move as a way to boost sales.

Microsoft is "trying to spur the hardware vendors (who) will create innovations and, in turn, spur PC sales," said Matt Rosoff, analyst at Directions on Microsoft Inc., an independent analyst firm in Kirkland, Wash. "They realize IT spending is in a slump and it's unlikely to pick up any time soon."

At the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) last week in New Orleans , Microsoft officials, including chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates, showed an early version multimedia PC the company is developing with Hewlett-Packard Co., dubbed Athens .

"The goal here is to have a consistent user experience," said Chad Magendanz, lead program manager for Microsoft's hardware innovation group in Redmond, Wash.

Officials stressed the business uses of Athens , which runs Windows XP and features a high-DPI, flat-panel screen. For example, the PC attempts to merge voice, video and text messaging.

"The scenario is really focused on business users and specifically on communications needs," said Greg Sullivan, lead product manager for the Windows client division.

"So this is a prototype that shows what the business PC or information worker PC might look like in a couple years."

Also at the show, Microsoft stamped a 2005 shipping date on Longhorn, and foreshadowed some of the improvements, including the new WinFS (Windows Future Storage) file system, and a planned device driver program.

"Our goal for the Windows end-user is to be better able to identify problems before they see them," with Longhorn device drivers, said Jean Valentine, lead program manager for Windows hardware and driver quality at Microsoft. "The vision of the (driver development) product is to make hardware development as approachable as Windows application development."

Microsoft is looking ahead to improvements in its Windows CE .Net operating system. Version 4.2 of the product, featuring voice over IP functionality, is due to ship on June 1, said Keith White, senior director of the embedded and appliance platforms group at Microsoft.

Beyond that, version 5.0 of Windows CE .Net, code-named Macallan, is in the planning stages, White said. He would not reveal details of the release, but did say that version 5.0, like its predecessors, would operate in devices ranging from telematics systems in automobiles to smart phones and portable media players.

Improving Web services capabilities in Windows CE is also a key investment area, White said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Krill

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?