SEATTLE—Welcome to the home—and the office—of the future.
Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft Corp. will use a Windows hardware conference in Seattle this week to unveil updated concepts of consumer and business PCs, plus a glimpse into the future of the Media PC.
Although observers expected the Windows Hardware and Engineering Conference (WinHEC) here to discuss Microsofts delayed next-generation Longhorn operating system, it appears that Microsoft executives will instead encourage developers to focus on the PC. Jim Allchin, group vice-president of Microsofts platforms group will unveil the HP-designed "Troy" business concept PC on Tuesday, as well as the "Hermes" mobile concept PC.
Later, Microsoft executives will show off a "Windows Home" concept, yet another attempt to combine a PC with a set-top box. In addition, Microsoft executives will disclose that they are working with hardware providers to add touchscreen capabilities to the Tablet PC. HP, meanwhile, plans to announce a program to use USB memory keys to facilitate the setup of wireless networks.
While the concept PCs are just that, they also represent a proving ground of sorts for next-generation technologies. Although consumers have embraced the notebook and desktop PC, other form factors including the PDA, Tablet PC, and Auto PC have been slower to take off. Athens, Hermes, and Troy represent small, careful steps toward designing a product that customers will naturally be attracted to, executives said.
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