The Register heeft een artikeltje gepost met meer info over de Microsoft MSN Web Appliance, een op Windows CE draaiend internet doosje dat voor allerlei simpele web-based toepassingen gebruikt zou moeten gaan worden. Een soort Network Computer dus, hoewel Bill het liever niet zo wil noemen:
Microsoft says the Companion will be used by consumers "for Web-based services, browsing and e-mail. It is designed for people who want a simple way to get on the Internet, and don't have a need for PC-based applications." It'll be available in desktop and laptop form factors.
So you can see the proposed uneasy compromises from there. It's not an NC, because it just does Web stuff. But what's a Web-based service? Well, we've got some remote application stuff going there, haven't we? And isn't Microsoft supposed to be Web-ising its apps? So this nice little device could maybe do remote-running rented apps as well, and it starts looking more like an NC after all. But it also looks a bit like a WebTV, particularly as WebTV is supposed to be moving onto CE as its base platform. And the expression "desktop and laptop form factors" is in the Microsoft release, incidentally, so it's clear the company itself is having trouble with the positioning.