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The Net Without a Computer

Techstination feature for Friday, November 19, 1999

You don't need a computer to get on the net. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. There are still some holdouts out there. About forty percent of American homes still don't have a PC. The thinking of Microsoft and some other high tech companies is, give these folks another way to get online. Microsoft and some well known hardware makers have announced plans to create MSN-based Web Companions....

"It's basically a ten inch flat screen and a keyboard, then you're running Windows CE and you have the MSN Internet services connected to it. The first versions are wired in. So think of them as sitting on the kitchen counter so that you can read your mail while you're having cereal or you could check the weather or traffic before you head out for work."

Microsoft's Yusuf Mehdi says the devices will be on the market early next year and will sell for two hundred dollars or less. The same concept is already being used by a company called InfoGear, which is out with its second generation iPhone. InfoGear's Dennis Tsu...

"It's a full featured telephone that also has a touch screen and a keyboard that allows you to surf the Internet and access your email."

You can use it with just about any Internet service provider. The iPhone costs about 400 dollars, about the same price as some full fledged PCs ....but...

"It's as simple to use as pointing and touching the screen."

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