Feeds

Microsoft to unleash MSN Web appliance

But it's not an NC, it just sounds like one...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Microsoft is planning to launch an Internet appliance - but it's not a network computer, honest. The company announced the MSN Web Companion last week at Richard Belluzzo's first major gig as VP for the Consumer and Commerce Group, but it was buried in a ton of other stuff, not least Steve Ballmer's attack on his own share price on the very same day. According to Microsoft the Web Companion will go into beta by the end of the year, and will be a CE-based device which is also "powered by MSN.COM." That is, it will be a cheap or free piece of hardware that goes out in conjunction with an MSN sign-up deal along the lines of those MSN and various other outfits have been piloting in recent months. Hardware companies building the devices haven't been named as yet, but we couldn't help noticing MSN's most recent deal was with Acer over the First PC Program, which was announced just a couple of days earlier. So it'll be kind of surprising if Acer isn't one of the companies that gets the gig. Dell, which is also messing around with appliances, and is extremely thick with MS and pro all things Web, would also make sense. Acer has also been going on about limited function XCs for a while, with CE as one of the likely operating systems. Deal, we think. Microsoft says the Companion will be used by consumers "for Web-based services, browsing and e-mail. It is designed for people who want a simple way to get on the Internet, and don't have a need for PC-based applications." It'll be available in desktop and laptop form factors. So you can see the proposed uneasy compromises from there. It's not an NC, because it just does Web stuff. But what's a Web-based service? Well, we've got some remote application stuff going there, haven't we? And isn't Microsoft supposed to be Web-ising its apps? So this nice little device could maybe do remote-running rented apps as well, and it starts looking more like an NC after all. But it also looks a bit like a WebTV, particularly as WebTV is supposed to be moving onto CE as its base platform. And the expression "desktop and laptop form factors" is in the Microsoft release, incidentally, so it's clear the company itself is having trouble with the positioning. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer quits Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.