Japanese PC makers to support Microsoft's Mira

Just over a month after Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates unveiled his company's new Mira technology, which allows users to access their Windows XP desktop from a portable, wireless-equipped terminal, four of Japan's top personal computer makers have signed on to support the system in their PCs.

Japan's top two PC makers, NEC Corp. and Fujitsu Ltd., along with Sotec Co. Ltd. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., will all be releasing PCs that support Mira, said Keith White, senior director of marketing at Microsoft's embedded and appliance platforms group. The PCs are expected in stores before the end of this year, he said.

The Mira system extends the Windows XP desktop to a portable terminal that is linked to the main PC through a wireless LAN. Users have full access to their desktop applications and files from the terminals, which do little more than display processing. The applications run on the main PC and the information is sent across the wireless LAN to the device for display.

"What this enables me to do is have complete access to everything running on the PC," said White, demonstrating a prototype of a Mira device. "I have full access to browse the Web, full access to my applications. It is basically remoting the display presentation using wireless networking to this device."

"Everything is processing (on the main PC.) When I mouse click (on the display), it actually goes across the wireless network and executes on the PC and displays back here what I do. It's not like there is a PC running on this. Because of that there is no fan, no heat, much longer battery life."

The portable devices run Windows CE .Net and Microsoft has defined a basic specification for them. They are required to have a minimum screen resolution of 800 by 600 pixels, 16M bytes each of ROM and RAM, a touch-panel display and support for wireless LAN networking. They can run on processors such as Intel Corp.'s XScale, Hitachi Ltd.'s SuperH and those from Mips Technologies Inc.

But while Microsoft has received commitments of support from Japanese companies on the PC side, it has yet to get any similar commitments for the production of Mira-based terminals. Developing such terminals requires more time and more money than integrating wireless LAN and installing Windows XP Professional on a desktop computer and White said Microsoft is still talking with Japanese computer makers about Mira devices.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, where the Mira concept was unveiled, Microsoft announced support from display manufacturer ViewSonic Corp., which said it will produce a Mira-enabled monitor that can be carried around the home, and Intel Corp., National Semiconductor Corp., Wyse Technology Inc., all three of which will produce Mira reference designs that other companies can buy, manufacture and sell.

Mira terminals are expected to sell for between US$500 and $800, according to White.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?