Gates Foresees Fast, Talking PCs

Gates made no mention of U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's March ruling that the company he cofounded is an illegal monopoly. Instead, he put on his technology hat, discussing Microsoft's plans to ready its Windows platform for a wireless, broadband, all-pervasive computing future.

"Our commitment is to provide software that is going to deliver on all the advanced scenarios," Gates told WinHEC attendees. "In some ways you think of this as platforms, but in other ways you can think of them as services."

Gates touched on Windows 2000's improvements in reliability and scalability, saying the platform will be key in the convergence of voice, video, and data networking. To emphasise that point, he took a phone call from Cisco Systems Chief Executive Officer John Chambers, using Cisco's IP telephones and CallManager 3.0 running on Windows 2000.

Much of Gates's keynote speech focused on the consumer market, as he urged hardware makers and engineers to build systems to support technology that will enhance the management of images, music, and other information.

Gates predicted that microphones "will be everywhere" soon, thanks to speech recognition improvements and technologies such as voice-enhanced e-mail and voice chat, which "will be an explosive app." Gates said MSN will put out a voice chat offering in the next few months.

Revisiting Windows ME

Also in the spotlight was Windows Millennium Edition, or Windows ME, the upgrade to Windows 98 that Microsoft hopes to ship by year's end. Gates touted Windows ME's new features, including a hibernation mode and a 25-second boot time - a vast improvement over Windows 98's boot time. He said that time was faster than Sony's PlayStation, which boots at 33 seconds, or Apple's IMac, which takes 1 minute, 10 seconds.

"We could have demonstrated that, but we just don't have time for it," Gates quipped.

At WinHEC Tuesday, Microsoft also:

Announced an Embedded and Appliance Platforms Group, headed by Bill Veghte, vice president. With products and technologies stamped with a "Windows Powered" brand, the group will concentrate on delivering adaptable, scalable embedded platforms for 32-bit and above connected devices and enabling rich applications and Internet services for a wide range of solutions.

Touted Windows CE 3.0, which was first unveiled last week at Microsoft's Pocket PC event in New York. Windows CE 3.0 is expected to be widely available in June.

Unveiled a Windows 2000 Datacenter Server Program, for hardware and software builders to leverage the high-end server, which Microsoft plans to ship this summer.

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.

Bob Trott

PC World
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

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

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

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

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?