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Bill Gates keynote at WinHEC 2005 a great show and tell.

April 27, 2005

BillG’s keynote presentation at WinHEC this month revealed some cool features within Longhorn, new mobile computing technology that is a “companion device” to larger PCs, a new PDF killer file format called “Metro” & 2005 will be the year of 64bit everything.

  • Great quote – “pervasiveness of digital approaches
  • 64bit architecture will incorporate new hardware & security enhancements that work together to assist in preventing malicious code from activating.
  • FACT: 1 million Windows Media Center editions sold to date with sales now reaching 0.5 million each quarter.
  • Impressive SQL 2005 demo showing the greater performance gain of 64bit version versus the 32bit on exact same hardware (processor, memory & motherboard).
  • Very cool demo of the new “auxiliary display” that is being built into notebooks and tablet PCs that allows the user to view important info via this small screen on the outside of the closed device (no more having to open your notebook in a lift to find out what meeting room you have to go to or what number you need to dial). Gates showed viewing e-mail, calendar & media controls) which is exactly like the current trend in mobile devices with smaller screens on the outside to show caller info and picture previews when it is closed.
  • Revealed new “Ultra Mobile 2007” device, that incorporates touch screen, sub US$1K, camera/phone/ink combined, a true companion device that is complimentary to existing larger PCs
  • Telephone, voice & Ink are perceived as “technology on the edge” that will be incorporated into the new Windows versions
  • FACT: 20 billion downloads from Windows Update in 2004.
  • Great Longhorn demos showing new visual interfaces, impressive search/filters,  “virtual folders” (like a saved search shortcut) & active properties/Meta tag interfaces for locating documents quickly.
  • MS will be implementing RSS 2.0 into Longhorn before release
  • Revealed a new document format called “Metro” that will be “royalty free” (couldn’t bring themselves to say open-source J) It looks from the demos that Metro has Adobe’s PDF in it’s sights. They mentioned the Metro format is quicker when printers, scanners etc are built with Metro encoders/decoders within them (brings back memories of the old MS Windows Printing System (WPS) that included a cartridge for printers circa 1994).


Longhorn looks like it is on track for release in early 2006. Of course, MS never commits to release dates, only “when the product is ready”


Great keynote and worth the watch.

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