Gates: Windows Is Glue

Notwithstanding its antitrust problems, Microsoft will remain a dominant force in an emerging world of computer devices that rely less on desktop PCs and are defined more as networked devices connected to the Internet, Gates says.

"The best is yet to come," Gates told a gathering of hardware and software developers at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) here. It's his new slogan, voiced in recent public appearances and in a television ad campaign intended to polish Microsoft's image.

Microsoft's WinHEC is designed to alert developers to Microsoft's plans and to promote computing innovation. Central to Microsoft's vision is its family of Windows operating systems, including the handheld Windows CE, the consumer product Windows 98, and the new business version, Windows 2000. Gates envisions these environments as the glue that connects devices ranging from desktops and Pocket PCs to hulking servers that run the Internet.

Windows Open

Gates focused on advances in connecting appliances and PCs. Following his keynote was Carl Stork, general manager of Windows hardware strategy, who traced a roadmap of how Microsoft will achieve this vision.

Consumers will see a big difference in Windows with the release of the "Whistler" version in 2001, Stork says. The update to Windows 2000 is also on the path for users of Windows Millennium, the unreleased upgrade to Windows 98.

"Home users are going to get the robust functionality and reliability of Windows 2000," Stork says. It will offer user interface advances like custom start screens, and it will support digital home entertainment and home networks.

Windows Millennium, the last Windows based on Windows 9x code, will ship this fall, Stork says. Its highlights include quicker start-up times, a simpler out-of-box experience for new owners, and advanced support for digital cameras, videos, and music.

Windows CE 3.0 is slated to ship in June, but the operating system is already available today in Pocket PC devices.

Friendly Multimedia

In his keynote, Gates pulled back the curtains on a "concept PC" with features he says will become standard in Windows.

PCs will soon ship with video cameras, noise-reduced microphones for real-time voice communications, and support for wireless peripherals, Gates says.

Also upcoming in Windows:

A friendier demeanor. Systems will have simpler interfaces, boot in less than 25 seconds, and automatically update.

Support for fast connection technologies, like Universal Serial Bus and the speedy IEEE 1394 standard.

A larger role in household digital music and video entertainment. Gates demonstrated a Windows-powered music appliance linking a home stereo to a digital music library on a PC. Also shown was Digital Media Player software, which wirelessly streamed Internet video.

Microsoft and Cisco are working on a new Internet protocol network that supports voice, video, and data. Called CallManager, the network will lead the way to devices like IP phones that carry voice traffic over the Internet, Gates says.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tom Spring

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?