Feeds

Microsoft low-cost MSN appliance out in Q3

CE-based, and built by eMachines

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
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.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
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.