Microsoft Corp MSFT.O said on Monday it had lined up four Japanese manufacturers to begin selling personal computers using its Mira technology that can turn flat-panel displays into portable touch-screen tablets.
NEC Corp 6701.T, Fujitsu Ltd 6702.T, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd 6752.T and Sotec Co Ltd 6829.OJ will unveil by the end of 2002 new PCs that allow more seamless home computing by freeing users from a desk without sacrificing the power of a desktop computer.
“We’re seeing some strong momentum in the Japanese marketplace,” said Keith While, a senior marketing director at Microsoft’s embedded and appliance platforms group.
Mira, instead of working like a laptop or tablet PC, uses a wireless network standard called 802.11 to let users detach their monitor and use a stylus pen to access the Internet, e-mail and digital content via their desktop PCs.
Unveiled last month by Chairman Bill Gates, Mira is a set of technologies built around Microsoft’s latest portable operating system that will be embedded into hardware.
As hardware devices become more intelligent, major hardware and software makers are trying to find ways to place their products at the center of the post-PC digital home.
“We expect to announce more companies in the future,” White said in an interview.
White said Microsoft was working with PC makers as well as companies such as chipmakers Intel Corp INTC.O National Semiconductor Corp NSM.N and display maker ViewSonic Corp to rollout Mira-based consumer products.