Thursday, January 06, 2005

Bill Gates Touts Digital Lifestyle

Noting the increased convergence of PC and TV technologies, Gates unveils a jumble of Microsoft devices as his company vies with others to capture the market for "convergence": providing consumers with a single broadband device that plays their TV, photos, music, video and internet. Why are consumer advocates missing from the Vegas spectacle? Shouldn't someone be there to ensure that this "next big thing" takes into account citizens' rights to affordable and ubiquitous access?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I am clueless when it comes to most of what's on display in Vegas. But I gather, they're fighting over standards and broad adoption of devices that will combine all your home electronics into one. What's the issue for consumers? Won't competition ensure affordable prices, much in the way other electronic devices have become affordable over time. Or is this an more issue of who gets to lay the last mile of broadband into homes? WIll someone advise -pls

Timothy Karr said...

Sascha Meinrath writes to say that the capabilities of many of the products on display in Las Vegas have existed in the open source community for quite some time now. He points to Robert Cringley's article about Andrew Greig, who has created an open-source setup that combines VoIP, TV/Cable, streaming audio, file sharing, etc. "We're already there with convergence," Sascha writes. "What we really need is simply a way to get the media to pay attention to these free alternatives."

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