LAS VEGAS, Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- In a keynote address at CES 2000 International,
Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT - news) Chairman and CEO Bill Gates demonstrated
a new era in consumer electronics that will give consumers personalized, convenient
access to their favorite music, news, entertainment, family photos, personal
calendars and e-mail through an array of consumer electronics including televisions,
telephones, home and car stereos, and Pocket PCs, from almost any location.
(Source: Microsoft Corp).
Microsoft is reintroducing the flailing Windows CE device as the 'Pocket PC'
to kick off the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Over the past two years 3Com's
Palm Pilot has captured over 70% of PDA sales, requiring Microsoft to go back
to the drawing board. The result has been a full software update to the product's
operating system. The new CE operating system will potentially be implemented
on a wide array of consumer electronics, from car stereos to cellular phones
to household appliances.
train of thought is that consumers will be able to access electronic messaging,
video conferencing and streaming audio and video for television access. Bill
Gates would like to empower the consumer to be able to access his/her e-mail
and multimedia needs at any time, from anywhere, from any device. However, do
not expect to see this all happen in the year 2000, because a significant amount
of software development must occur and standards must be decided upon prior
to generic consumer electronic integration.
Do not be overly anxious to acquire this new technology. Wait for it to be fully
integrated into a wide array of products prior to making an investment in something
that may never be fully functional. A consumer can already retrieve e-mail from
virtually anywhere with a wide array of wireless PDAs, cellular phones and even
over a standard phone line with Text-to-Speech recognition software. Do we really
need to watch television in our car? Probably not. Home automation and security
are indeed byproducts of advanced technology, but it is advanced technology
and not without flaws. We expect a full 24 month incubation period prior to
seeing fully compliant appliances available.