Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

What Ever Happened To Windows SideShow?

Raise your hand if you never heard of “Windows SideShow”. Okay. Thank you. You can put them down now. I had heard of SideShow, long ago, and I have been waiting patiently all this time to take advantage of this wonderful technology — eagerly, excitedly, looking forward. Thanks to the iPad, and Android.. I expect my wait will be even longer….

What is “SideShow”??? SideShow is a cool technology Microsoft first started hyping building into Vista (circa 2007). It was.. to keep things simple here, a kind of “super widget” program. Look at this prototype laptop..

See the small LCD screen in the lid? That is an “SideShow Enabled Device”.. (what I had been waiting for..) and what was going to be so kewel was, was even with the laptop off, and lid closed – that little LCD would draw so little current it could be available all the time; so, “the user can still read e-mail, examine his calendar, look at some digital photos, get mapping directions, see the current date/time, and so on.

Yes.. watch a stock ticker, check flight arrival, see the weather, listen to your tunes..

SideShow was, as I understood it, envisioned and enabled to be “beamed” (so to speak) to any LCD screen — digital picture frames, smart refrigerators, television remote controls, etc.

In fact, if you have a Vista machine, and open your Control Panel, you will see the SideShow control (in “Classic View”).

And in there you configure what info you want to have shown..

Now, I have to say, this works.. um, “functions”, and you can play around with it using various LCD screen devices you might have.. your old Palm Pilot or smartphone, maybe,, but here it is, 2012, and I have yet to have seen a laptop for sale that had a little screen in the lid (maybe I have not looked in the right stores…)

I have to conclude that SideShow was an idea that “died on the vine”. That got “pre-empted”. It simply wasn’t adopted by the manufacturers (that I ever saw..).
But I could be wrong about that.
Maybe it is technology that is just biding its time.. and will be featured in the “smart” refrigerators when they start becoming “consumer mainstream”..

But, 2007 – in computer years – is a long time ago. And.. if I want to do those things, I glance at my Android smartphone……………………..

Honey? What time is it?
I don’t know.. check the fridge.

(For those super Geeky types in the audience, curious about SideShow, this old MSDN article may be of interest: click here.)

Today’s quote:How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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February 3, 2012 Posted by | computers, tech | , | 18 Comments