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Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Microsoft's Tom Phillips on the emerging trends in PC hardware via Bweek

PC performance has come a long way in three decades, but their design hasn't. But behind the scenes, the industry is looking to change that The Windows Hardware Experience Group exec talks about the many ways PC design can be improved to make the machines easier to use.Microsoft is leading some of the most innovative research, including ultrawide, high-resolution displays that allow workers to see several applications running at once and futuristic workstations that integrate cradles for PDAs, tablet PCs, and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) phones into one sleek desktop.Microsoft showed off its latest prototype: a hub for highly digitized households of the future dubbed the Windows Home Concept PC, designed along with Hewlett-Packard (HPQ ). Among the system's features are high-definition audio and video output, wireless music and video streaming, voice command capability, and personalization through biometric identification.Instead of a keyboard, which would hardly seem at home in the living room, it has a tablet PC and a Bluetooth remote control, both of which do double duty as screens for displaying information like caller ID or the subject line of an incoming e-mail. Maybe the best part: an "instant on" feature means the PC is up and running in just a couple of seconds. Here Tom Phillips expands on the emerging trends - It has been a longtime since something substantial has happened in the PC hardware design and a major change looks imminent- convergence, pervasive usage and dramatic improvement in software all are pushing hardware design to its edge currently.

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