The assault on software giant Microsoft

The next two years will be crucial for software giant Microsoft. Under attack on numerous fronts, it could falter - or fight back to become even more dominant. In the first of two reports, we examine the challenges facing Microsoft.

It looks like a Star Trek gadget: nudge the stubby black stick (no wires) and a virtual keyboard glitters in red on the kitchen worktop. After a few taps, the shopping list is sent to an online grocer. Next you could video-conference with a friend to swap recipes, or watch a cooking show stored on the hard drive of the media hub in the living room.

Upstairs, the mirror on the bedroom wall becomes a monitor, allowing you to watch a film, browse the web - or turn up the heating and open the blinds. Welcome to Microsoft's wireless "M.home", on a leafy street in London's Ladbroke Grove. "This is not the home of the future," says Cynthia Crossley, who is in charge of Microsoft's Windows operating system in the UK. "All the technology can be bought off-the-shelf and fits subtly into your home."

News source: BBC News

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