Microsoft takes Note of declining desktop sales

Microsoft takes Note of declining desktop sales

Note-taking, which tends to be difficult to store and access, will get a boost from new technology from Microsoft as the software giant continues its drive to launch off the desktop.

Microsoft is making progress into the wireless information management sphere, with a suite of new computing devices in the wings previewed at the Comdex trade show in Las Vegas.

Chairman Bill Gates, delivering the opening keynote address, revealed Microsoft has been developing software and hardware taking computing to a range of new devices such as alarm clocks, watches and keyrings.

The software giant has unveiled an array of new products recently aimed at the mobile worker, including the pen-based Tablet PC. Further to this, Gates provided a first look at Microsoft OneNote, a new Microsoft Office 11 family application which takes advantage of the Tablet PC's handwriting-recognition and digital-drawing features. OneNote works with any kind of computer and a variety of input types, to help users capture and organise typed or handwritten notes. Microsoft claimed OneNote will let Office 11 users take notes on the screen without having to work within the constraints of a word-processing program.

Available in mid-2003, OneNote will allow users to create digital notes - by typing, or writing on a flexible notepad - that can be manipulated easily and shared with others, according to Microsoft. OneNote also has voice recognition capabilities for spoken notes.

Demonstrating various technologies from Microsoft and its partners on-stage, Gates announced a new line of portable "Smart Display" flat-panel screens will be available on January 8 2003. Windows Powered Smart Displays, formerly code-named "Mira", will be used in touch-screen wireless devices, enabling mobile workers to access the Web, check e-mail and run programs using a wireless link between the display and the desktop PC.

"Even though we're in an economic downturn, we're in an innovation upturn. I believe people are dramatically underestimating all the innovation going on in our industry, all the great products that are on the way, and the positive contribution that technology is making to our economy," Gates said.

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