Feeds

LG ‘will persist’ with Smart Display, even after Microsoft drops it

Ugly duckling stays ugly

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The Smart Display, a year old, will not make it to 2.0 - Microsoft has told the unfortunate manufacturers who partnered with it in the doomed venture.

The idea of a flat panel display which you could pick up and carry around the house sounded like a brilliant idea when it was first mooted, since all it needed was a (presumably, cheap) Windows CE processor and a wireless link. At the time it was not quite as obvious as it is now that it was a dead duck.

Now, according to ET News, Microsoft has decided this ugly duckling won't ever become a swan. "Last week, Microsoft sent a letter to a part of smart display developers including Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics notifying them that it would immediately abandon the development of 'Smart Display' OS 2.0, according to industry sources," said the Korean news source.

The problem with the smart display was pretty simple. If you got the small one, it was actually smaller than most Tablet PCs, and no cheaper. If you got the big one, it was really too heavy and clumsy to carry around the home casually. And, not to be too mealy-mouthed, it was not fun to use.

The pen interface, simply put, wasn't up to it. At a time when Microsoft was launching the Tablet PC at very similar prices, with a far, far better "ink" interface, the pioneers of Smart Display found that they couldn't even compete with the Tablet.

"You could plug a USB keyboard into them," commented one disillusioned buyer, "but if you did, they didn't stand up. And if you went out of range of your wireless LAN, they became paperweights. You couldn't even make notes on them - they were less use than a PDA, four times the price, and clumsy."

As a flat panel, the large ViewSonic Smart Display matched any other LCD screen of its size; except for price. You could buy four standard LCDs for the same money. If money was no object then why not? - but the market for "money no object" computer hardware has never been a mass market.

According to the Korean news source, "the abrupt change in policy by Microsoft put domestic smart display developers in a dilemma."

It reports that Samsung Electronics has accepted fate and "plans to disorganize its smart display planning and development team," - but LG Electronics won't give up just because Microsoft did.

"LG is seeking a breakthrough after rolling out its initial smart display products next month as scheduled," it was reported: "Since its smart display is differentiated from others supporting TV-receiving functions also, LG Electronics will commercialize it regardless of the policy change of Microsoft," said an officer at LG Electronics.

But even there, realism couldn't be entirely ignored: "We expect, however, to see a setback in developing the next-generation product," admitted the company.

There is, of course, absolutely nothing you can do with a Smart Display, that you can't do with a bottom-end Tablet PC. You just put RDP (remote desktop protocol) on the host machine - something Windows XP supports out of the box - and connect across the LAN or Wireless LAN. You'll probably spend less, and you'll certainly get something that has a useful function if you take it away to another site.

And the hand-writing recognition is better, and programs like One Note work on it, and it has a disk - and Smart Display has none of those features. It's just a dumb display, whatever Microsoft wanted to say.

The final nail in its coffin was Microsoft's absurd decision to kow-tow to the tin god of its licensing agreements. If you took your smart display downstairs, nobody in the den with the computer could use it. Single user licence, repeated Microsoft marketing droids. "We can't compromise our standard licensing policy."

Frankly, the nail wasn't necessary. The dead body was never going to rise again.

© Copyright 2003 NewsWireless.Net

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
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 cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.