Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

My Ideas for Windows Sideshow

Long Zheng reminds us that Windows Sideshow is (still) coming. His last picture shows one of the prototype detachable devices that can dock to the lid of certain notebooks. We've been seeing this one for a while, and the next few months will show if anyone is actually going to ship these to consumers.

This led me to an idea... how cool would it be if you could get a Zune dock as an option on your laptop, and your Zune could also run Windows Sideshow? Between that and the Xbox 360 integration... I think it would be a "must buy" product for a decent percentage of people. And the orange already matches the Zune UI. Not convinced? Here's some Photoshop fun:


Wouldn't THAT be sweet :). Is it a coincidence that the Sideshow device and the Zune are almost the exact same size? I don't think so.

Anyways, here's one more Sideshow device that I'd pay for... a Picture Frame that could double as a WiFi connected Media Center display that I could use to watch TV through while I'm working on my computer, without sacrificing screen real estate. Here's what it might look like, using the Living Picture momento 100 as an example:


Those are some of my thoughts. There are plenty of other Sideshow devices coming, like remote controls, drive-mount displays, and keyboards. But I think the best use would be a Sideshow-integrated wall-mounted home security/automation system. Think about it. Give it a keypad and mount it to your wall, and after you enter your security code, you can check to see if the kids left any messages, check which TV shows are recording tonight, and set the music you want to listen to while you get dinner ready. Now THAT would be cool.

Oh yeah... what ever happened to the PocketPC/Smartphone version of Sideshow? I thought a beta was supposed to be released a while back? I'd really like to be able to see this on my phone (not Photoshopped):

Alright. I'm done with the gratuitous pictures. For now ;). What device would YOU create for Windows Sideshow?



  • Long Zheng said:

    Excellent photoshops and ideas.

    November 15, 2006 4:02 AM
  • Mark Heath said:

    I would like to see some MIDI controller devices equipped with sideshow, so that the parameters that the knobs and faders are assigned to, along with their current values can be displayed on the actual control device as you adjust them.

    November 15, 2006 4:52 AM
  • Atomsk said:

    I must say that I LIKE it :)

    But having a 250$ gizmo attached to my laptop (and detachable) is not all that much to my liking ;)

    But a nano like player would be a killer...

    November 15, 2006 5:43 AM
  • DaveC said:

    Well, the Zune is interesting less for integrated possibilities (in its current form its a bit too thick to dock into a reasonably small laptop) and more for its possibilities as a remote display- it does have wireless, remember. The "scenarios" illustration on Long's page shows a useful and possible direction: laptop turned off, Zune turned on and able to display IMs, E-Mails and other info from the PC neatly tucked away in a bag or backpack-  hey the Zune can see and d/l info from similar devices already, why not a computer? Now they just need to get its software in order: supposedly full Vista support for Zune will be coming for launch in January... maybe we'll see some SideShow action then?

    November 15, 2006 2:41 PM
  • Steve Hughes said:

    Very Cool ideas and great Mockups! I was hoping there would be some sort of Smart Sideshow Hard drive used for synching data and accessing without a PC. The demo shown at WinHec looked alot like the Toshiba Gigabeat, which lies under the hood of the Zune.

    There hasn't been much heard of from Sideshow since SyncCenter's PC-to-PC Sync  was dropped before the release of RC2. Hopefully at CES and during the Vista launch there will be alot of Sideshow devices like Media Center Remotes, Picture Frames, Keyboards,etc. and a client for Windows Mobile or hopefully they will all surface again in a Windows Update.

    November 15, 2006 2:59 PM
  • BetaNews is reporting that the first CTP of Windows Presentation Foundation / Everywhere (WPF/E) is due

    November 18, 2006 3:27 AM
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