Microsoft wants inside your kitchen

Summary:It looks like Microsoft has more kitchen-related projects in the works than the Windows-based Kitchen Client that I wrote about recently.

It looks like Microsoft has more kitchen-related projects in the works than the Windows-based Kitchen Client.

The BBC is reporting on efforts coming out of Microsoft Research in Cambridge, UK, to build kitchen-centric computing tools and technologies. (Thanks to ActiveWin.com for the BBC link.)

I could be wrong, but I don't believe the Windows Kitchen Client and the kitchen-client research project(s) are one and the same. The Kitchen Client I heard about sounds like it's probably at least in the incubation stage, if not the actual product development one.

As a refresher, here's what I've heard about the Kitchen Client:

"The 'Kitchen Client' software will extend the Windows operating system and integrate with current and future Windows Live services, according to sources close to the company. It sounds, from what I can tell, more like an add-on layer than a whole new version of Windows. Among the features Microsoft is planning to make part of its forthcoming kitchen computing environment are a family calendar, recipe center, entertainment features and a shared bulletin board, sources added."

And, by the way, the Windows Kitchen Client is not the Windows Live service formerly in development codenamed "Ohana." I heard back from a few folks in the know who said the two were not synonymous. Here's a description of Ohana from a reader:

"Ohana was/is totally a Family product (not really connected to anything other than Live now). It was supposed to be a product that was an integrated experience to connect the family and provide vendors (think Home Depot) ways to communicate with the customer [via Ads]. It would have a calendar (think more like iCal), lists, notes (think stickies) etc, that would work like a family."

Any requests/feedback for the folks building Microsoft's kitchen-centric platforms? (If any team members are reading, I volunteer to be a beta tester!)

Topics: Windows, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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