Gates talks up the future of the PC

And it'll run on XP...
Written by Aled Herbert, Contributor

And it'll run on XP...

Bill Gates this week pushed the personal computer as the digital entertainment centre of the future home. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas the Microsoft boss showcased two technologies he claims will form the hub of digital multimedia in the home. The first technology is a device called Mira - a computer with a detachable flat-panel monitor that can communicate with its base station over a wireless network. The device is powered by Windows CE.NET, the software giant's latest mobile operating system, and has touch screen capabilities. Gates said companies are already developing Mira-based products, with the first models due to appear before the end of the year. The second technology is Freestyle - a set of extensions for Windows XP that will allow users to use a PC from anywhere in the house via a remote control. Freestyle will also be used to control all the multimedia elements in the home through one interface. Gates demonstrated Freestyle playing MP3s then switched over to arrange a gallery of digital photographs. The Microsoft chairman echoed Apple chief Steve Jobs who earlier in the day had unveiled the new iMac and labelled it a digital hub to connect the host of modern electrical devices all homes allegedly have. Jobs said the idea of the computer as digital hub will be the third incarnation of the PC, the first being geared towards utilities and the second towards the internet. In November 2001, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said the Xbox games console will eventually evolve into a wired digital hub.
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