Gates Salutes the Seamless Computing Experience

Microsoft's chairman also talks up new Windows Media Center Extenders, the next version of MSN, and SPOT watches in his Consumer Electronics Show kick-off keynote.

LAS VEGAS—Microsoft Corp. wants to do more than make sure there are Windows-powered devices in every office, home, cell phone and car. The software giant also wants to make sure they are networked seamlessly.

During his sixth consecutive kick-off keynote of the Consumer Electronics Show here, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates highlighted the ways that Microsoft intends to achieve this goal.

Gates used his roughly one-and-a-half-hour presentation at the Las Vegas Hilton Theater to show off three new categories of products that Microsoft and its hardware partners plan to make available in time for the 2004 holiday season. Known as Windows Media Center Extenders, Microsofts forthcoming connectivity kits are designed to make TVs and Xbox consoles able to network more easily with Microsofts Windows XP Media Center Edition home-entertainment hubs.

"The home is going digital," Gates proclaimed. And "Media Center is the centerpiece product for what goes on in the home of the future."

Throughout his remarks, Gates emphasized the concept of "seamless computing experiences." These experiences—where "smart" devices are connected together via "very rich interfaces"—are at the heart of Microsofts next-generation software products, ranging from its "Longhorn" version of Windows for the desktop to its MSN Premium Internet software for broadband networking.


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