Why Vista Sideshow is Still on the Sidelines

Sideshow-compatible gadgets and hardware compatible with Microsoft's external display standard have been slow to arrive. One of Windows Vista's most intriguing new features has yet to fulfill its promise, as Microsoft Corp. wrestles with issues of hardware support and developer scarcity.

Windows SideShow was introduced with Windows Vista as a way for time-pressed users to find out the weather forecast, check for new e-mail, see the status of an eBay bid and more, all without turning on their PCs.

SideShow enables a secondary screen -- such as the 2.8-in. color LCD display mounted on the outside of AsusTek Computer Inc.'s W5Fe notebook computer -- to display information from special-purpose mini-applications called "gadgets" that reside on Vista's desktop.

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