Feeds

Microsoft still just re-Surfacing Windows

Long-planned escape from beige boxes

Top three mobile application threats

While Auto PC generated lots of jokes about crashing and system errors, it didn't generate much in the way of applications or devices to run them on. So it was relaunched in 2000 with a snappier name: Microsoft Windows CE for Automotive 2.0:

"Consumers are looking for even greater value from their vehicle, and the ability to merge home, office, and vehicle will greatly improve their quality of life," said David Peace, who at the time was a vice president at Visteon.

In July 2004, Microsoft announced that Fiat would be embedding Microsoft Auto (as the platform had become known) into some of its cars, and in January Microsoft announced a deal with Ford to supply Microsoft Auto for some of its models.

These days, the platform is limited to playing back audio from "popular mobile music devices" and hands-free telephony, but Microsoft still has great plans for equipping our cars with its software, even if it takes another decade or two.

Windows around the home

While Auto PC continues to develop, and gain the occasional customer, not every technology has been so successful.

Mira was a project to allow PC users to pick up their screen and take it with them around the house. The screen would be connected over Wi-Fi, and interaction would be touch-sensitive.

"Mira does for monitors what the cordless handset did for telephones", Steve Ballmer said in 2002, when the concept was launched and devices were predicted for Christmas. We were pretty dismissive at the time, but the fact that Mira was a technology in search of a problem is probably what killed it.

Several manufacturers were encouraged to make Mira (or Smart Display, as it became known) devices, and LG even persisted when Microsoft pulled the plug on the project in 2004.

Set-under boxes

Mira was always intended as a consumer technology; companies were supposed to buy Tablet PCs, but the biggest screen in most consumer's homes has never seen a Microsoft logo.

In the late 90s, everyone was convinced that internet access on a TV was going to change the world, and Microsoft was no exception. It bashed Windows CE about until it fitted into the Dreamcast, Sega's games console, which was launched to great acclaim in 1998 and then trounced by the Playstation 2 in 1999, despite featuring the unparalleled Chu Chu Rocket.

1997 saw Microsoft buying WebTV - a company specialising in presentation of internet content on TV screens. Later rebranded as "MSN TV" the service is still just-about around. Using cut-down PC hardware and Windows CE, MSN TV2 can provide basic internet browsing and work as a media player for content on other PCs around the home.

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.