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What Gadgets Will Get Consumers to Buy?

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, July 3, 2003

What new gadgets will get consumers to buy in the months ahead? Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The senior director of consumer strategy at Microsoft... John O'Rourke... thinks more people will be willing to spend money on new technology gadgets during the second half of this year...

"Almost seven out of every ten households have a PC. But what's really driving the excitement in many ways is the youth market. People that are living what you could think of as a digital lifestyle. They have cell phones, they listen to digital music, they have digital cameras and they're really excited about it. And it's causing a wave that is reaching well beyond their social circles, pulling in their parents and getting them involved in this digital lifestyle as well."

Faster and easier to set up wireless networking could provide a base for lots of new technologies to build on... allowing digital music, photos and movies to be shared around the home... and with distant relatives and friends over the Internet. And Microsoft is hoping to generate some excitement... for new PDAs and SmartPhones...

"And a SmartPhone is a great cellular phone, but because it's a Windows powered phone, it actually lets you get your email, your addresses and your contacts from Outlook... or browse the Web or do instant messaging... and do things like download games onto a great looking, nice sleek looking device that's also a cell phone."

They should arrive on the market this fall... competing with combination PDA phones that use the Palm operating system... and others from Nokia. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.