CES to usher in Web appliance fest

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CES to usher in Web appliance fest

Along with the usual array of fancy gadgets and fast chips at next week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, new Internet appliances are expected to take center stage.

Microsoft Corp.’s MSN Web Companion will lead the parade of inexpensive machines designed for connecting to the web.

The Windows CE-based device will allow users to access the MSN service or the Web, and to send and retrieve e-mail – but little else.

Microsoft has enlisted Acer and Philips to build the Web Companion devices. Compaq also showed a Web Companion prototype at Comdex/Fall last November.

The Web Companion devices should begin shipping in mid-2000.

Intel is expected to announce an Internet appliance designed as a TV set-top box.

A full report on CES product plans is posted at www.zdnn.com.

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