[Updated 5:30 pm PDT] Microsoft's Bill Gates announced 'Mira' in his keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this year. According to Microsoft, Mira is the codename for a set of Windows technologies that will “extend the Windows PC experience throughout the home by powering the next generation of smart display devices.” Microsoft expects these smart display… devices “to range, over time, from easily detachable flat-panel PC monitors to television sets.”
Mira makes use of 802.11 wireless communications coupled with .NET services. Windows CE .NET is used in conjunction with 'Remote Desktop' functionality to link the operation of distributed 'thin' devices with larger systems and servers that run Windows NT.
One Mira device already developed is physically similar to a webpad, but is actually a detachable display from a specially designed PC (“Windows XP Professional host PC”). The user can remove the Mira display device from its cradle, and operate the system anywhere within the 802.11 wireless hot zone — much like using a wireless webpad. Microsoft compares the idea of a PC with a portable, Mira-based display to a cordless phone.
See Mira in action
Intel has partnered with Microsoft to develop an XScale-based Mira display device design. An online CNET video 2.5-minute interview with Intel market development manager Todd Altman, taped at the PC Expo show in New York this week, shows how the Mira display device operates:
Information on Microsoft's “Mira technology” is available here.
Update: Mira gets a new name
Microsoft announced today that “Mira, the code name for new software technologies that will power a wide range of smart displays that extend the Windows XP experience to any room in the home, will officially be named Microsoft Windows CE for Smart Displays.” The full text of the announcement is available here.
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