Manufacturers smarting over Microsoft decision

Smart display makers have been left stranded by Microsoft’s decision to ditch development of the software just one year after launching it.

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By  Peter Branton Published  January 28, 2004

Smart display makers have been left stranded by Microsoft’s decision to ditch development of the software just one year after launching it. While the software giant has not said that it will never return to the project, it has told manufacturers, including LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Fujitsu-Siemens and ViewSonic that it is has stopped working on the next version of the technology. The Smart Display is a cordless monitor that can be carrried around and connects to the PC via a 802.11b connection. It also features text entry with a pen interface, somewhat similar to Microsoft’s Tablet PC operating system. While Microsoft launched the product with great fanfare at last year’s Consumer Electronics Show, it had already acknowledged there were problems with the technology. For a start the 802.11b network only supports throughput speeds of 11Mbps, which didn’t give particularly good performance for applications such as streaming video. Because of licencing issues, Smart Display users also found that the host PC was automatically locked out when the Smart Display was in use.

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