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Microsoft proposes standard for "auxiliary" displays

Marc Perton
February 12, 2005
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Microsoft has proposed a standard for displaying data on an LCD mounted on the lid of a closed laptop, similar to the way some clamshell cellphones display date, time and Caller ID info (as in the gratuitous image at the right). The company plans to incorporate the technology into Longhorn (whenever it ships), and would also make the standard available on desktop machines, allowing them to work with an "auxiliary" display that could function separately from the host PC, with its own processor and memory. While we like this idea, and think being able to, say, check our email queue without opening our laptop, would be great, we can't help but be a little intrigued by the system Microsoft plans to build this on:  Smart Personal Objects Technology, better known as SPOT, which has been a less-than-stellar success as the system that runs "smart watches." Is SPOT the right solution for this, or is Microsoft trying to salvage something useful from the ruins of the smart-watch biz? We'll have to wait for Longhorn to find out, so we guess we'll just have to be (very) patient.

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