Feeds

Microsoft low-cost MSN appliance out in Q3

CE-based, and built by eMachines

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.