Feeds

Microsoft touts PnP system for PCs and appliances

But this one doesn't look like the big push into the appliance market

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Microsoft yesterday announced its latest bid to extend Windows out of the PC market - Universal Plug and Play. Unveiling the plan in a Consumer Electronics Show keynote senior VP Craig Mundie pitched UPnP as addressing the blurring of distinctions between appliances and computing devices, but although this could in theory pitch it against Java and Jini, in practice it seems the company is taking a more conservative approach, at least initially. "As appliances become more intelligent and the distinction between appliances and computing devices blurs, a key part of their value to consumers will come from their ability to communicate with other intelligent devices," said Mundie. But in describing the operation of UPnP, the company keeps it simple, suggesting it could be used "to install and configure… intelligent consumer appliances and devices on a home or small-business network." It could also be used to make it easier to share resources on a network in business or the home, or for two PCs in a home to share a single high speed Internet connection. So really this sounds like it could turn out just to be a fairly modest iteration of PnP, enhancing some of the things you're starting to be able to do with computers already (i.e., all of the above), and maybe - or maybe not - being a possible Jini competitor some way down the line. The partners Microsoft has announced for the system don't contradict this view significantly: AMD, ATI Technology, Axis, Cisco, Compaq, Conexant, Dell, Diamond Multimedia, Honeywell, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Intellon, Kodak, Lexmark, Lucent, Micron, National Semiconductor, NEC, Proxim, Quantum, Samsung, Sharewave, 3Com, Texas Instruments and Toshiba. These are largely the kinds of partners you'd expect for a classic Microsoft initiative that was going to cover PCs, peripherals, chips and networking. The presence of Proxim makes it clear UPnP is going to cover wireless networking, and may have a lot in common with HomeRF (quite a few of the supporters are HomeRF members). But there's nobody big in the consumer electronics industry there, so although phones may get involved (Lucent), it's not going to address one of the big potential markets immediately. What UPnP actually is is as yet somewhat sketchy. Mundie says: "Because UPnP is built on existing standards, it will be relatively easy for vendors to implement, and easy for consumers to take advantage of." But as Microsoft is presenting it as a development of PnP, we can be sure where those existing standards are coming from - Microsoft. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.