Feeds

Microsoft low-cost MSN appliance out in Q3

CE-based, and built by eMachines

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Microsoft's dedicated MSN access device, the much demoed MSN Web Companion, is to be built by low-price PC vendor eMachines, and will go onto the market in the third quarter of this year (we think they mean September rather than Saturday). It'll be priced "well below traditional PCs," and will be based on the CE operating system.

Which of course Microsoft rebranded as Windows Powered earlier this year, but it seems to have forgotten about this for the Companion announcement. The Companion is intended to be aimed at "consumers who are new to using email and the Internet," but that sounds more like a desperate attempt by Microsoft to avoid cannibalising its own Windows markets and those of its PC customers. If it's any good, and cheap, then even experienced users could want to shove one in the kitchen, say.

It'll power on instantly, and access the Web via MSN. It's not clear to what extent Microsoft intends to allow it to access the Web any other way, but our guess is that it'll use a derivative of the MSN UI ("Mars") currently in preparation, and that there's a likelihood the MSN homepage will be hardwired into it. It will however include IE, and will provide "full access to the entire Web." Despite that, it looks like another step down Integration Alley that might as well have been planned to raise judges' hackles.

It'll come with a proper monitor, which is a plus, although that could also be a negative in the kitchen. But if you want LCD, you're going to have to pay for it, and that would set the price of the Companion too high. It'll also have (we assume Microsoft's shiny new) media playing technologies built in.

The coyness about the price is, we presume, because the actual selling price will be dependent on the kinds of discount deals on offer. The build cost ought to be low enough for it to be feasible for them to go out at $99 or less if customers are prepared to sign up for two to three years.

Register footnote: For those of you about to mail us telling us we missed a gag by failing to call it the MSN WC - no, we didn't. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
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
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
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.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.