Pentium M may support location-based services in 2006

Intel will likely add support for location-based services to its Pentium M line of mobile processors in 2006, a senior company executive said Monday.

As with cellular phones, location-based services for computers are based on the computer's ability to recognize its location and provide information or perform a function tailored to that location.

"Location-based services are certainly something that we've been exploring and have a lot of work going on in," said Anand Chandrasekher, vice president and general manager of Intel's Mobile Platforms Group.

"You can expect to see capabilities like that being brought on to the notebook marketplace, probably in the '06 timeframe would be my best estimate at this time," he said.

Intel first announced plans to add location-based service support to the Pentium M at the Computex exhibition held in Taipei in June. At that time, Mooly Eden, the vice president and director of marketing at Intel's Mobile Platforms Group, said Intel was exploring how to add support for location-based services and said the company would introduce that capability "when the right time comes."

In addition to hardware support for location-based services provided by Intel, software vendors will have to include support for these services in operating systems and applications, Chandrasekher said.

Microsoft plans to offer support for location-based services in the next version of its Windows operating system, known as Longhorn, which is expected to ship in 2006.

Microsoft executives have outlined some of the location-based services they expect to see made available in the future. These include the ability for computers to switch default printers and automatically connect to a wireless network based on the specific location of the computer. In addition, users will be able to get directions and search for services offered by nearby shops.

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