Page Two

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2002-09-25 Print this article Print

: Microsoft Center Gives a Peak Into the Future">

The goal here is to show how all of the functionality available on BroadBench follows users on all their devices, irrespective of their location, and can be accessed using voice and handwriting recognition.

The "boardroom," large screen and portable Tablet PCs are thus used to show this, as well as to demonstrate RingCam and potential conference technologies of the future.

Off the boardroom is a room with a mock car dashboard, again used to show how the data and technologies transfer, as well as an airplane seat with a kiosk of the future that will give users access to all the same information.

Gruver said he expects some 1,000 customers to tour the center each month. Microsoft will collect feedback from these visitors and use it to guide which technologies to move toward reality and which need refining to better address real business problems customers face, he said.

Janice Skredsvig, a senior director for heavy-duty truck manufacturer PACCAR Inc., in Bellevue, Wash., is enthusiastic about the center.

She told eWEEK on Wednesday that the company was already applying several of the technologies on display, particularly those in the area of mobility&#151such as telematics, wireless tablet computing and virtual conferencing.

PACCAR&#151which has more than 9,000 Windows Desktops and laptops, more than 800 Windows 2000 front- and back-end servers as well as 75 back-end Unix servers&#151is always looking for technologies that allow it to be more effective and efficient.

"Our customers are highly mobile so its only natural that we would have interest in applying the technologies on display at the CIW to solving their business problems. Some of the technologies displayed at CIW illustrate how mobile solutions can keep us connected to our customers, wherever they may be, providing them with information and services that increase their business productivity. We would like to see these technologies available as soon as possible," she said.

Asked if PACCAR would be prepared to pay for much of this technology to be delivered as Web services, Skredsvig said a lot remains to be seen in how Web services payment models actually pan out. "There are both risks and benefits to a pricing model that is based on actual usage. Until the models are better defined, its premature to guess their impact," she said.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel