Microsoft suggests phones could become "cheap PCs":
Microsoft Research chief Craig Mundie said that Microsoft has a research project called "Fone+" that would allow the phone to work with a TV as a secondary display, and one that could allow video stored on the device to be played back on the television.
For Microsoft, the challenge is extending the PC platform into new applications and form factors. For many years, the WinHEC conference here has served as the underlying foundation for hardware initiatives for the Tablet PC and the more recent UMPC, both of which have struggled. Microsoft's penetration into the smartphone market, however, has been more successful.
"There's no reason that if this thing were hooked up to a large display that we couldn't watch video in this environment," Mundie said.
In a separate demo, Mundie showed off a hypothetical environment where an illiterate third-world mother needed medical attention for her child. Using a cell phone and icons the mother was asked who in her family was sick, what the symptoms were, and guided her to a local infirmary where a USB-enabled PC kiosk, complete with USB blood pressure cuffs and stethoscope could provide a more complete diagnosis.
A Micronics portable "lab in a box" was also shown, which can take a drop of blood and perform molecular analysis to determine whether the patient is affected by a certain type of disease. The box, a product of a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation healthcare grant, will be released in the "near future," Mundie said.