The PC's role in the new millennium, and the arrival of what Microsoft calls 'anytime, anywhere' devices for Internet access, will take centre stage at this year's Comdex Expo.
IBM, AMD and even software giant Microsoft will be touting low ticket, 'legacy free' PCs and easy to use Internet access devices at this year's expo. Despite Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft, saying in his keynote that "the PC has gone to new heights and will continue to do so," the truth is that it will take on many guises in the next decade.
AMD is expected to debut its Easy Now initiative that will make it easier for PC makers to reduce 'legacy' hardware in systems, making them easier and - following in the footsteps of Apple - more open to radical consumer designs and smaller footprints.
Using up to five USB ports in the Easy Now design, PC makers will create systems that consumers will be able to set up in minutes. Peripherals such as CD-Rom drives and home networking support will be easy to add.
Microsoft is likely to be touting its MSN Web Companion, which uses its Windows CE operating system to give consumers easy access to the Internet for as little as $199 dollars for a basic keyboard and box.
IBM, determined not to be left behind in the race to give the PC a new lease of life, is also investigating 'legacy free' PC designs under a project codenamed EON. The EON products, which will include low price PCs and digital assistants for consumers, are unlikely to be unveiled until late next year. But according to sources, IBM will be showing off prototypes here behind closed doors.
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