By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2004-05-04 Print this article Print

-Room PC"> Allchin will provide guidance on the creation of the PC-in-the-living-room experience, which would be able to turn on and off instantly, would be quiet, would not consume a lot of power, and would wake up to record shows and then be able to go back to a state of low power or no power. It also would seamlessly interact with users, employing biometrics to populate their favorites and personalize their experiences.
"These are the kinds of things Jim [Allchin] will be demon-strating during his keynote, and if we want to deliver those kinds of experiences, there are some imperatives needed from a hardware and software standpoint, like we need to make the machines quieter than 26 decibels," Sullivan said.
"Jim will detail how we can jointly do that and how we can take advantage of microprocessor speed states and throttle back, so we can turn the fan off or build a device that doesnt have a fan and is fully air-cooled. He will talk about advanced power management and how this can be used to get a PC to a fully awake state within one-and-a-half seconds or less," Sullivan said. Allchin also will make some specific announcements, including a device profile for Web services and the fact that Microsoft will publish a specification for the device profile itself and propose this to the Universal Plug and Play Forum for consideration in the UPnP 2.0 specification. "This will be based on the Web services standards work we have been doing for a while, and we will use these Web services for the devices profile and deliver along with it a device development kit so that manufacturers of anything with a microprocessor and some degree of connectivity can build intelligence into that device," Sullivan said. That way, "it can interact with other devices on the network and can consume services that are published by others, and even publish services itself," Sullivan said. An example would be a music device in the audiovisual stack in a living room. It could send music to any device in the house capable of playing music, and they could interact with one another. But this required a protocol stack and a specification before it could happen, he said. Allchin also will use USB Flash drives to show how hardware and software can come together to deliver a great experience that simplifies things for the user. Using a Windows XP SP2 PC, which has new functionality and a wizard built into it, Allchin will plug in a USB Flash drive, run the wizard to configure his wireless network and store the 128-bit WEP configuration on that USB Flash device. He then will show how he can walk around and plug the USB Flash device into all of the wirelessly connected things on the LAN, and the 128-bit WEP is automatically configured on those. "This shows how we are thinking about how to combine innovative software and hardware to solve user problems like securing wireless LANs in as easy a manner as possible," Sullivan said. "This is an example of how hardware and software can come together to create a valuable user experience that they are prepared to pay for and which adds value." Allchin will demonstrate some of the features and functionality of Longhorn, the next version of Windows currently under development, including new uses of power management and how machines can wake up almost immediately. He will show two PCs running side by side, both running Longhorn but one with the XP graphics driver stack and the other with the new Longhorn graphics driver model. After loading a game and some other 3-D components, attendees will see that the PC running the XP graphics driver stack is able to support only one instance of a 3-D application, whereas with the PC running the Longhorn graphics driver model, the system itself is now able to take advantage of the 3-D hardware acceleration and is able to robustly support multiple 3-D applications running simultaneously. Allchin also will clarify broadly the roadmap for the Longhorn client and reiterate that the first beta is on schedule for the first half of 2005 and that the final product will ship when its ready after that, Sullivan said, adding that he is unsure whether the Longhorn server team would detail its roadmap going forward at the show. Next Page: Windows XP SP2 is on track, official says.

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


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