RealTime IT News

PCs Need Makeovers

At the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) Asia 2002 in Taipei this week, Tom Phillips, general manager, Windows Hardware Experience Group, Microsoft, said in his keynote speech that the industry should move from innovating mainly to bring costs down and improve the user experience.

"The industry is good at broad initiatives, e.g. Universal Serial Bus (USB)," he said. "There is an opportunity to spend more time in user scenarios."

According to Phillips, the industry needs to collaborate on higher reliability, resilience and security if the future is to hold easier-to-use PCs that are as reliable as consumer electronics devices such as telephones or televisions, and easier-to-manage servers and workstations in data centers.

In line with this strategy, new Windows .Net Servers, available by 2003, will be targeted at different hardware platforms. Windows .Net Web Server will be suitable for server blades, while Windows .Net Standard Server will be more a departmental file-and-print and collaboration server. Infrastructure assets will be handled by the Windows .Net Enterprise Server edition, and very large symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) systems by Windows .Net Data Center Server.

With 'mira' and 'freestyle' technology also due in 2003, prototype tablet PCs were out in full force at WinHEC, demonstrated by Acer, First International Computer (FIC), PaceBlade, and Tatung. In addition, Via Technologies, a silicon chip and PC platform solutions provider, launched its Tablet PC reference design at the event.

Microsoft also demonstrated its Pocket PC Phone Edition with Smartphone 2002, available in the second half of 2002, and Pocket PC Phone Edition with General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) and Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) support.