COMPUTEX - Vista could bring secondary laptop displays

Windows Vista will offer support for secondary notebook displays, an Intel executive said at Computex.

Three years ago, former Intel Chief Executive Officer Craig Barrett used his keynote speech at the Intel Developer Forum to show the company's vision of what future laptops will look like.

Called Newport, the notebook design had some cool features, including a small, secondary display on the outside of the case that let users scan their e-mails, access their calendar, and check network connections. The idea was to give users access to information stored on the notebook while the case was closed.

Secondary displays never caught on with laptop makers, largely because of the added software work required to support the interface. But that could be set to change with the introduction of Vista, the next version of Microsoft's Windows operating system.

"Microsoft, with Vista, has added some advanced capabilities that support multiple displays," said Keith Kressin, Intel's director of mobile platforms marketing, at the Computex exhibition in Taipei.

Secondary displays won't become a feature on mainstream notebooks anytime soon, Kressin said. "But I think for a certain market it's very compelling," he said.

After Newport was introduced, some notebook manufacturers built prototypes of notebooks that had secondary displays. While these never made it to market, manufacturers may revisit the idea once Vista, with its support for multiple notebook displays, is available.

"We'll have to wait and see," Kressin said.

Computex runs through June 10.

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Sumner Lemon

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