Home > Windows > Microsoft Details New Longhorn DisplaysMicrosoft Details New Longhorn Displays Eugenia Loli 2005-02-11 Windows 46 CommentsWhen Microsoft delivers a beta version of Longhorn during the first half of this year, it will include support for “auxiliary displays,” company officials said Wednesday at the VSLive conference.About The Author Eugenia LoliEx-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker.Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 46 Comments 2005-02-11 10:20 am Heh, and here I was hoping for better multi-monitor support.I wonder if Apple will beat this to the punch somehow. Plug in your ipod to your powerbook to see if you’ve got mail? 2005-02-11 11:09 am Existing laptops and notebooks require a considerable amount of time to turn on, get running, log in and open applications. They are not conducive to logging in and operating while on the move. And their battery life of three to four hours on average limits their availability, Viji noted.However it seems he didn’t notice the solution to that problem might be for more simple: Buy an apple laptop instead of an x86 or AMD64 heater. iBooks are far lighter, and power management actually works right. Just open it, make your two calendar entries and close it again, actually that’s a lot faster than fiddling around with any “auxiliary displays”. 2005-02-11 11:21 am This is essentially the same idea as those little secondary LCD displays on the outside of many new clam-shell style cell phones.Personally, I would deffinatly appreciate somthing like this on my laptop lid, and yes Julian, I DO have an iBook. 2005-02-11 11:23 am I concur with Julian, Apple has powermanagement unrivaled in simplicity and ease of use. And yes their iBooks are much lighter and consume less energy.Considering auxilary displays will[quote]”wake up” regularly so that they can synchronize data with the auxiliary display.[/quote]Does it not negate any powersavings? Sounds awefully like what they are trying to avoid. Of course there would also be the added cost of the new feature hardware.This is all something Apple has right now 2005-02-11 11:24 am Hmmm…interesting.I just don’t think I would use this. Lifting my laptop lid isn’t too difficult.But maybe I am missing the value here. I am open minded to that possibility. 2005-02-11 12:18 pm And yes their iBooks are much lighter and consume less energy.I was under the impression that the Cenrino’s consumed very little power (less than a G4) and that Intel’s next generation mobile (forget the name) has better power consumption.I was amazed at how quickly my powerbook slept and then woke. Sometimes though I shut down and close it too quickly making the powerbook sleep in the middle of the shutdown. 2005-02-11 1:04 pm I have an iBook G4 and the sleep function is very quick but not always reliable. About one in 10 times it won’t wake up (just freezes when you open the lid). The most annoying thing is that I can’t pinpoint the exact circumstances when this occurs, so now I always save everyting before I close the lid.OTOH our company Thinkpad T41s and X31s are very reliable with both standby and hibernation, and only slightly slower than my iBook. I was actually quite amazed how well they worked since I rarely read posts about them, but tons praising Apple laptops. Too bad the IBMs are a lot more expensive than my iBook… 2005-02-11 1:19 pm Uhm… centrinos consume more, that’s for sure.Never heard of a centrino laptop with more than 3 hours of battery life. OTOH, I routinely read of 4-5 hours of battery life on iBooks. 2005-02-11 1:33 pm Maybe he was thinking of the Pentium M, which can run as cool than a G4 at the same clock rate. Not sure how their processing power compares clock for clock though. 2005-02-11 2:08 pm “Never heard of a centrino laptop with more than 3 hours of battery life. OTOH, I routinely read of 4-5 hours of battery life on iBooks.”well, my notebooks runs a Pentium M… battery life of 4 to 5 hours… 2005-02-11 2:10 pm iBook:~ jmaddox$ uptime 9:07 up 24 days, 23:22, 11 users, load averages: 1.96 1.86 1.37I never power down my iBook or desktop computer. This articles reads like it was written in 1992. Maybe a better idea would be to make PC laptops consume less power and not die after 2 hours of use and get them to sleep better.This product as this solution is silly. Now i like the idea, but if its to solve the power up, login, open app, problem, its just another example of poor industrial design on the PC side. 2005-02-11 2:10 pm Did you try the new OS X update? supposed to sort out that problem. Haven’t had any sleep issues in my powerbook since updating (fingers crossed) 2005-02-11 2:11 pm 9:07 up 24 days, 23:22, 11 users, load averages: 1.96 1.86 1.3711 users? On your iBook? 2005-02-11 2:13 pm Renato: I think you need to look at your information a tad more. Now granted, your not going to find a 12in centrio that runs more than 4-5hrs on a normal charge but my friends T41 can do 6-8 if he’s not playing games. Granted, he does have the extended battery on it but in terms of weight its really similar to a 15in powerbook and the performance is just off the charts.Its really the only laptop I’d consider outside of a Powerbook (my iBook’s lookin small now). But really, in terms of thermal and power management, the new Centrino machines are just as good, if not better than, the G4 *Books. Now if only the OS didn’t blow…windows that is 2005-02-11 2:15 pm Lots of shells open 2005-02-11 2:34 pm Renato: I think you need to look at your information a tad more. Now granted, your not going to find a 12in centrio that runs more than 4-5hrs on a normal charge but my friends T41 can do 6-8 if he’s not playing games.The IBM X31 is a 12inch Centrino that lasts more than 5 hours. The X40 with the 8-cell battery can do more than 6. 2005-02-11 2:38 pm Having many shells open has nothing to do with the amount of users logged on, unless of course you’re on a different account on each shell. But 11 users.Less of course OSX works differently than linux and assumes that each shell is its own user.BTW I could get 4+ hours on my IBM T22, if i’m not playing a game or compiling something. 2005-02-11 2:49 pm It does. Do your homework.iBook:~ jmaddox$ uptime 9:48 up 25 days, 4 mins, 19 users, load averages: 1.35 1.04 1.19 2005-02-11 3:04 pm Try passing the option -l (lower L) I think it is to xterm and it will give you a login shell instead of a normal shell. This means you can add things to your .bashrc, /etc/profile, or whatever and it will parse it instead of going by whatever shell options (for example PATH) where available when X was started. 2005-02-11 3:05 pm I see two problems with the idea:1) increased likelihood of breakage. Being on the outside, you’d be likely to crack it. In order to avoid this, you’d need to put an extra layer of thick plastic to protect andy external screens. Which leads to problem 2…2) increased thickness and weight. Figure both the screen and the extra casing to protect it, and it seems like your laptop will get noticeably thicker and heavier.Is the helpfulness of being able to check your calendar on the go worth this? For me, no way. If you want to give me better on-the-go capabilities, give me some improved synchronization with a cell phone/pda/ipod. I’m not going to pull my laptop out of my bag while I’m “on-the-go” anyhow, so this “auxiliary display” isn’t going to be visible on-the-go anyhow. 2005-02-11 3:06 pm Never heard of a centrino laptop with more than 3 hours of battery life. OTOH, I routinely read of 4-5 hours of battery life on iBooks. I had a toshiba that got over 4 hours. Was a great little laptop. 2005-02-11 3:17 pm with my ASUS laptop. I have 5.30h operation time on one battery, and 10h with the additional battery in the modular bay. Beats any MAC, anytime. My friend, who owns a MAC ibook is about to buy an ASUS laptop after he witnessed the above stated facts last week! That’s because he traveles a lot and needs that extra time. It’s funny to see MAC users admit that in terms of mobility, Centrino platform wins hands down, and that’s without counting the laptops based on the ULV(ultra low voltage) pentium-M. I couldn’t be happier about the choice I made when buying this laptop. 2005-02-11 3:20 pm Thanks, I tried using xterm and uptime registered another user. I normally use aterm and it seems that aterm doesn’t register as a user. Perhaps aterm doesn’t use the device nodes that uptime uses to check for users. 2005-02-11 3:23 pm Everyone keeps making claims that some laptop uses “less power” and supporting those claims with numbers of how many hours the laptop can operate on a single charge.So, I have a powerbook that can operate for 3 hours on a single charge, and I’ve worked in a datacenter that, if the power went out, the entire datacenter (consisting of around 10 Dell servers) could remain operational for 5 hours. Is that because the datacenter is using “less power” than my laptop? No, it means the datacenter is using a friggen’ huge battery for it’s backup power source.Likewise I’ve seen laptops that are inefficient with power, but last longer because they have a huge honkin’ battery, which adds bulk and weight to the laptop. It’s a trade off, and whether it’s “worth it” depends on your needs. 2005-02-11 3:25 pm Try recommending a IBM T30 w/ an ultrabay battery. You can buy a high density battery for the T30 that gives ~ 7 hours of normal CPU usage. Put another one of those batteries in the Thinkpads ultrabay, and you got yourself a nice laptop with 14 hours battery life. 2005-02-11 3:45 pm Did anyone else misread the headline as “Microsoft Details New Longhorn Delays”? 2005-02-11 3:49 pm This is what they are talking about…http://www.flipstart.com/aboutproduct_features_lidmodule.aspPersonally, I think it’s pretty cool, myself. 2005-02-11 3:52 pm Microsoft is so late with Longhorn that when I first read the headline for this article I thought it said “Microsoft Details New Longhorn Delays”. 2005-02-11 4:19 pm //Microsoft is so late with Longhorn…//They are? Since when did they promise a delivery date that was set in stone, and then ignored? Please explain.Or could it be that you have less than a clue about how multi-billion dollar software development projects are actually run. 2005-02-11 5:23 pm Digital paper on the inside of a clear acrylic casing (eg, first-gen of snow iBooks), and you may discover that Robert’s children are your cousins…OK, so, that depends on digital paper being more colourful and cheap than it currently is, but that sort of an interface needn’t consume vast amounts of space in the casing, nor add much bulk or mass to the thing.That might fall foul of that patent that Apple took out a year? more? or so ago regarding modifying the external appearance of a computer system using various light emissions controlled by software, though.What about feeding out over some wireless method to one of those natty Microsoft Watches then, eh? Or yer mobile phone in yer pocket running something else MS-friendly? Or to someone else’s watch, or phone, or accidentally to the video advertising display on the high-street… 2005-02-11 5:33 pm Sony’s tiny T series laptop is 10.6″, based on Centrino, and claims minimum battery life of 4 hours on the regular battery (max 8.5, but that’s probably running maximum power saving mode with the screen turned off…) I have a much older Sony in the same vein, and suspend to memory / resume works flawlessly and very fast, even in Linux. Suspend to hard disk has never worked properly since I went from APM to ACPI, but since suspend to RAM works, I don’t miss it that much. 2005-02-11 5:35 pm just keeps power flowing to the ram so that it dont zero out. windows however likes to dump the ram to hdd so to fully power down and yet not loose state. if the apple laptop was to suddenly loose power (unlikely unless someone unplugged that battery) then it would just toss the unsaved data you where working on.for mission critical systems i would prefer the wintel way over the apple way. 2005-02-11 5:44 pm …and you may discover that Robert’s children are your cousins… Please ‘splain.OK, so, that depends on digital paper being more colourful and cheap than it currently is, but that sort of an interface needn’t consume vast amounts of space in the casing, nor add much bulk or mass to the thing.Sure, but with current technology, they’d probably be using an LCD screen of some kind behind thick plastic. So I’m not saying it can’t be done in some useful way, but it seems unlikely with current technology and laptop designs.What about feeding out over some wireless method to one of those natty Microsoft Watches then, eh? Or yer mobile phone in yer pocket running something else MS-friendly?That’s what I was getting at with the idea of ” improved synchronization with a cell phone/pda/ipod”. Right now I have a powerbook and iPod. If I want a calendar or address book, I check my iPod. I could easily use iSync for my phone if I had a better phone, but I tend to go with the cheap freebees.Anyway, I don’t think I need my laptop feeding data wirelessly to my watch or phone. If the data isn’t changing, then why not just have the data sync to my watch, and then when the laptop is closed, the watch just has the data. I mean, like if I keep a calendar in my laptop, the data isn’t going to change when the laptop is closed and in my bag, so why not just sync the calendar to my watch, and let my laptop be off and conserving power? This technology works fine today.If, on the other hand, you’re talking about data that will be changing, then you can leave the laptop out of it completely. Let’s say you want to receive e-mail notification on you phone. So you’re going to have your laptop connect wirelessly to the internet, and then broadcast the data wirelessly to your watch– then why not just bypass the laptop entirely? Have your watch check for e-mail wirelessly.So I still don’t see much value in it. 2005-02-11 7:14 pm @Gil BatesThanks for the link. I was trying to get a better idea of how this technology would be used, but all I could think of was the little text only lcd displays on the outside of some 3U servers. 2005-02-11 7:19 pm My BeOS hacking (in the legal, sourcecode way) box is a Dell Latitude CPiA366 with two batteries from a much more recent C series in it. It gets just under 12 hours on a full charge (which takes around 6 hours). Less if theres a PCMCIA card in, but I’ve never got less than 6 on one charge.Its also lighter and smaller in total volume than my iBook (its thicker, but only a bit, and smaller other ways)When Apple beat THAT, then I’ll listen to their power usage claims 🙂 2005-02-11 7:27 pm Looking at posts above, my writing seems absolutely off topic – I want to say some words about auxiliary displays:)Entire world doesn’t consist of laptops (I use only desktop PCs for example). I don’t know, how exactly Microsoft plans to implement such aux display support, but I can see usefulness of such additional devices (even for desktop use).– little informational display. Probably you’ve seen/used little LCD modules (2 row of text or smtg), connected to com/lpt/usb port, telling you cpu temperature, weather conditions, new mail arrived etc (while you playing or browsing OSNews for example). I’d like some 5″ colourful LCD showing all this crap me:)– little informational display. Same as previous – for different use though. Properly designed and integrated into OS, it would be possible use such device while PC is sleeping even without spinning up hard disks (this is the idea in original article);– input device. Making this display touch-sensitive, it would be powerful input device; something like combination PDA and desktop PC. Having support for this device built directly into OS wouldn’t hurt.I like this idea, although I do not like development such display closely related to Microsoft. Actually all this seems result with creating proprietary solution, including only laptop lids with Intel displays, secret hardware specifications and closed Microsoft code to control this hardware. 2005-02-11 7:31 pm They don’t have anything set in stone, but they’ve missed “projections” that they’ve made. They wanted to have it out in 2005, now it’s 2006 without a core component they had for it (WinFS).And if you ask IT people who are looking at OSX/Linux alternatives due to slow development, I’d say that makes it “late”.SO I think it’s unnecessary to jump all over the poor guy’s ass about it. 2005-02-11 8:41 pm It will be possible to hear my notebook’s MP3 with my notebook closed? That will be really nice. 2005-02-11 9:28 pm So it this a Vulcan invention (LID Modules), or a Microsoft one (Auxillary Displays)? The FlipStart first demonstrated it last year at DEMO (February), but there was no mention from Micrososft until WinHEC (May). It was one of the features that set the FlipStart appart from other handhelds. Now the FlipStart is nowhere to be found, and it looks like they are losing their processor manufacturer (Transmeta), but the same technology shows up as a feature of Windows.From the FlipStart site:“What is a LID™ Module?A Low-Power Interactive Display (or LID) module is an external touch screen display that provides instant access to email, calendars, contacts — even MP3 files. A LID module comprises a combination of proprietary hardware and software that enables FlipStart to perform like a PDA when you’re on a low bandwidth network – but without the compromise of a PDA. It keeps you apprised of incoming email messages and key appointments without your having to open your FlipStart or launch applications.This convenient LID module provides:At-a-glance information without draining the batteryImmediate access to Microsoft® Office Outlook® email, calendar, and contactsThe ability to browse and play MP3 music filesWhat proprietary software comes with FlipStart?FlipStart ships with proprietary software, which includes seamless roaming software, email optimization software, and MiddleMan™ navigational software.The optional Low-Powered Interactive Display (LID™) module features our mobile email software, so you have continuous access to email, calendar and contacts.”It certainly looks like it was all Vulcans own in house work. I guess Microsoft just thought it looked like a good idea and copied it into Windows, and made it rely on thier exising SPOT hardware platforms. Wonder if Vulcan had any patents, or is Paul Allen still on good enough terms with MS to hand over their IP. 2005-02-11 9:42 pm Since when did they promise a delivery date that was set in stone, and then ignored?Are you kidding? Microsoft is the king of vaporware. They have been “late” with almost every version of Windows going back to 1983 and Windows 1.0. They tend to announce products in response to competition rather than with respect to what they can actually deliver.You can, of course, play loose and fast with the definition of the word “late”, but I think Microsoft does more then their share of spin control with respect to promised releases. 2005-02-11 10:00 pm //They don’t have anything set in stone, but they’ve missed “projections” that they’ve made. They wanted to have it out in 2005, now it’s 2006 without a core component they had for it (WinFS).//And how many other software development projects even come close to the scale of releasing a new Windows OS? I’d say very few, if any. A Linux distro release *pales* in comparison for complexity. We’re talking millions of lines of code, here. Not to mention tons of testing, vendor requirements, support training, etc.Not an easy thing to do on any timeline. We shouldn’t be suprised that it’s taking so long.Personally, I’d rather have MS *take as long as they want* — it makes a huge difference. Witness Windows Server 2003 vs. Windows NT Server. Light years difference between them. NT 4 was rushed out the door, comparitively. 2005-02-11 11:11 pm >>Robert’s children are your cousins> Please explainRobert’s children are your cousins => “Bob’s your uncle”>Current technology LCD etcYeah, kind of my point, that LCD most “likely” maybe with current tech, but Longhorn’s not shipping for over a year, so who knows whether it will be still such an expensive proposition then?>Wireless update / “static” data / etcDidn’t say it had to be useful or desired- the “demo” mode on a flashy stereo in standby isn’t useful for most people, but the manufacturers still put it in there. You pretty much exactly got my point but from the wrong end, I think But, on the other hand, you might want a small device, like your watch, to periodically receive an update to some specific data, so that you don’t have to go to the boot of your car, or your bag in the overhead luggage thingy on a train, etc. Not often enough to warrant getting the machine out, but just useful enough for some people to use. Why local-area wireless? So that the watch doesn’t need the power etc of a full-scale wLAN or wWAN solution. Same reason a bluetooth mouse doesn’t need 802.11g capabilities As an example of “too much technology”, get this- there were actually some WML sites 5 years ago that allowed you to do an online chat! Yes, an online chat in WML without T9 at 9600bps using a mobile phone. About a gazillion times more expensive than just phoning the people you were chatting with, and the same amount more complicated and slower… Suits never stopped to consider the practical application of Ockham’s Razor.Anyway, back to the point- I’ll stop now and wait and see what this actually is, rather than obscure the matter with further 1984/Minority Report-style parody of technology speculation in case the irony is missed again 2005-02-12 1:44 am Robert’s children are your cousins => “Bob’s your uncle” Yeah, I still don’t know what that means. Not everyone’s british, you know.Didn’t say it had to be useful or desiredWell, that was my issue with this idea of “auxiliary displays”. Sounds neat, but it sounds like technology for the sake of technology. Not useful or desired. 2005-02-12 2:12 am first of, it would be interesting if you could buy memory modules that contained both normal ram and flash ram. when the computer is put into sleep mode the normal ram is dumped into the flash ram and then the whole thing is more or less powerd down. then when you power it back up the ram is just read back from the flash. why not use the flash as normal ram? it dont take kindly to that kind of abuse. yes they like to be read and written but done to often it will basicly lock (much like a cd/dvd-rw, only with a higher number of rewrites).second off, i was pointed to a very interesting display tech some time ago. think of it as a lcd that dont need power to hang on to the image, only time power is applyed is when a pixel needs to change. its even readable in normal daylight without a backlight (one of the most strikeing images is where its used as a stransparent billboard).here is the link:http://www.technodisplay.no/EASLtech.htmyes its only showing one color at the moment, but so was normal lcds when they where first made. basicly they are tech demos and concepts, not finished products. 2005-02-13 1:08 pm And how many other software development projects even come close to the scale of releasing a new Windows OS?Don’t make me laugh! A “new Windows OS”, eh? It isn’t going to be new at all. It’s going to be an evolution of the current Windows OSs. Microsoft hasn’t created a new OS for a very long time (some would argue that they have never produced a new one, but I’m leaving that argument alone).A Linux distro release *pales* in comparison for complexity.How? Releases for any given (and already established) distro are evolutionary steps in it’s progression.We’re talking millions of lines of code, here.But we’re not talking about millions of lines of new code. For example, the acclaimed “WinFS” is actually going to be an optional bolt-on for the current NTFS. I can’t see Microsoft rewriting the whole of their filesystem code just to implement a bolt-on. Tweaking it, yes. Rewriting it? (Grant chuckles to himself)vendor requirements[i]And what would that be, then? Most hardware vendors will write their own drivers for the system after they have been “given” (for a financial exchange) the final pre-release Longhorn OS.[i]support trainingIsn’t this the argument used so frequently as to why people should not use Linux (or any other non Windows OS)? Surely if people will need training to use the new system then both Longhorn and “other” are on level ground as to their potential benefits?Not an easy thing to do on any timeline. We shouldn’t be suprised that it’s taking so long.I am not surprised at all at the timeframe. What I am a little bemused at is their targets: since this is, essentially, not a new OS but is rather an evolution based on existing code… why not periodically release the stable portions of the evolving system as add-ons to existing XP/2003 systems?Note: I did not say “free” add-ons. Surely such a large company as Microsoft could see the potential financial gains of doing it like this? If people want up-to-the-minute features and all the bells-and-whistles that are due to be in the next Windows OS, then why not make some money out of it?Witness Windows Server 2003 vs. Windows NT Server. Light years difference between them. NT 4 was rushed out the door, comparitively.Again, you really can’t compare the two. If WinNT Server had never existed then Win2003 server wouldn’t either. Evolution my friend. If you’re going to make comparisons, then try comparing two Microsoft OSs from the same era. 2005-02-13 1:09 pm Damn! Must remember to close my tags.