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Here's a few added comments regarding e-books which XRX shareholders may find interesting.

Bill Gates on E-books (aka Tablet PC)

BILL GATES: Thanks, Brian. Super. Now let's turn and look at the full-screen device, in particular this tablet form factor. I'd like to ask Burt Keylie to talk to us about the work his group is doing in this area.

BURT KEYLIE: Hi, Bill. Thanks.

So .NET services are going to help information flow to all sorts of devices, and the smart phone, Microsoft smart phone software, in particular, is going to really enable a whole class. But there's another class of device that we think is going to be wildly popular, and this is the device that combines the visual qualities of a magazine with the handiness of a paper notebook and all the power of a PC.

So what we're going to get to talk about today and show today actually is the actual first demonstration of what Microsoft calls our vision for the Tablet PC. And within the next year or two you're going to see Microsoft's partners bringing out hardware like this.This is actually prototype hardware running real software, including real Windows 2000. .......

Now, one of my colleagues is a fellow named Chuck Zacker, and he's also obsessed with this Tablet PC idea. And his obsession goes all the way back to the mid-70s when at Xerox PARC he worked with a fellow named Alan Kay, and they worked on a Dynabook concept. Chuck is on our team and he suggested to me I really ought to have a subscription to Slate Magazine. And it gives me an opportunity to show you some .NET services that support this paper-like experience. ......

The third thing is a new service called a digital asset service, which actually does digital rights management for me. In fact, it's individualizing a personalized copy of this book and downloading it into my library, and it actually has my name on the title page of the book. I know it's mine. I know it's authentic and I know I can read it on any of my devices. .......

BTW - Many of the MSFT people working on this project are ex-XRX PARC researchers Chuck Thacker and Butler Lampson, who worked on the XRX Alto (the acknowledged prototye for the MAC and Windows PCs). The one visionary project they proposed that hasn't been implemented yet is the Dynabook. It's been cited that the technologies necessary for Dynabook were too costly until now.

And some press about Bill Gate's Ebook vision:

Gates also pitched two hardware projects Microsoft is working on: the keyboard-less PC tablet and the eBook.

Dick Brass, a Microsoft vice president in charge of eBook technologies, told the crowd that the electronic-book format "may overtake p-books [paper books]" by 2008, and by 2020 "the revolution will be complete," and the definition of a "book" will have changed from "paper bound with leather to an electronic display."

Alluding to the ongoing controversy over the Napster Web site where users can download and trade music files for free, Brass said e-commerce security must be shored up in order for eBooks to be a success.


1.) What is the MSFT Rights Management -> Content Guard connection (A XRX Product)?,1112,4383,00.html


2.) Is XRX one of the hardware vendors cited?


3.) Will the user display for a table PC be based on tradition technologies or will they rely on new technologies (like XRX epaper)?

And most perhaps the biggest question, will XRX pursue any of these technologies now that RT is gone? Or is XRX reverting back to it's analog roots?

It was PARC too, where this time last year, Richard Thoman, Xerox's chief executive, stood four square with Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's president. He waxed lyrical on how, as the old world of analog photocopiers gave way to the new age of digital documents, their respective technologies were converging - the fruits of these labours now reflected in Xerox's latest 'document centres' that would work with Windows NT to seamlessly integrate emails, fax machines, PCs et al.

Such was the success of the dynamic duo's PARC presentation that a repeat performance was scheduled for this month, focusing this time on Xerox's ContentGuard software - a technology in which Microsoft has a partial stake and which is designed to protect internet content from illicit copying.

But at the last minute came the news that the presentation had been cancelled. A few days later the reason became clear - Thoman had "stepped down" from his post after just 13 months in the job.

Bruno the Meateater
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