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  1. #2  
    can you copy the text, the link needs a logon...
    <IMG WIDTH="200" HEIGHT="50" SRC=> (ex)VisorCentral Discussion Moderator
    Do files get embarrassed when they get unzipped?
  2. #3  
    November 20, 2000
    Competing Visions of the Next Computer


    Sony's new Airboard tablet computer has a base station and a screen that can be detached.

    Is the pen mightier than the television?

    That may be the question for Microsoft and Sony, which are spinning competing visions of the tablet computer.

    At the Comdex computer trade show in Las Vegas last week, Microsoft's chairman, William H. Gates, demonstrated a prototype of the company's Tablet PC. Not surprisingly, the machine is capable of running a version of the company's Windows operating system and many of the programs available for a standard PC, albeit using an electronic pen rather than a keyboard.

    But Sony, the consumer electronics giant, takes a different approach. The company conceives the tablet computer of the future as being based not on the PC, but the TV.

    Sony plans to begin selling its Airboard tablet computer in Japan on Dec. 1. It describes the Airboard as a new concept: a portable ultrathin television with a 10.4-inch screen and a wireless Internet connection. It will come with a touch screen.

    The slate-size video computer has a digital wireless connection to a base station, which would remain stationary in the home and which would transmit the digitized television channels or Internet content to the system. The Airboard will be priced around $1,300.

    The idea, of course, is to permit the couch potato to move effortlessly from the living room to the bedroom or bathroom while watching his favorite programs or surfing the Web. The Airboard comes with a simple software operating system not Windows that will permit the user to run a Web browser and electronic mail program and to switch among the Internet and television channels.

    In a recent interview, Sony's chief executive, Nobuyuki Idei, took no small amount of glee in noting that at Comdex last week, Mr. Gates stopped by the Sony booth to examine some of the company's tablet computers. These were already on sale in Japan, he noted, in contrast to the prototype Mr. Gates demonstrated still a year or more away from commercial introduction.

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