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ZDNet: Intel's brave new home

Jul 26, 2000, 15:13 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John G. Spooner)

"Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) believes one of the next frontiers for proliferation of computing devices is in the home, and it's unleashing a large portion of Intel Architecture Labs' research staff to exploit those opportunities. With some 600 staffers, IAL focuses much of its research and development effort on creating Internet-based hardware and software for consumers and businesses."

"The Media Appliance is the labs' attempt to create an all-in-one set-top box. A prototype demonstrated for ZDNet News showed capabilities including that of a cable receiver, video recorder, DVD player, music jukebox and video game console. It also sported an enhanced program guide. ... The device would include a Pentium or a StrongARM chip as well as a hard drive and remote control, which doubles as a mouse. Although Intel is a strong ally with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), this box could be powered by the Linux operating system -- Intel execs said the machine was designed to be "OS agnostic."

"When it comes to expanding home networking and linking these different devices together, the IAL is working with standards such as Universal Plug and Play (UPnP). Intel recently announced plans to release to open source a UPnP development kit for the Linux operating system. The development kit will allow companies that use the Linux OS in their electronic devices to tap into UPnP networks. As such, a Linux-based Internet appliance could communicate with a PC or any number of other devices, including printers. Intel expects that the major Linux distributors will include UPnP support in the future. UPnP support may also find its way into white goods, such as refrigerators and washers."

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