According to Discovery.com Microsoft is working on a new technology in India that could let users share their computer monitor with another user using a software-based solution. That’s right, it would be like playing a split-screen video game where each user has their own space to work with.
When I first read about this my thought was how could two people share a 15–inch or 17–inch monitor? The sideways scrolling on websites and documents would probably start to get tedious:
Each side of the screen has its own mouse and keyboard hooked up to control what is essentially their own operating system. Users would then share the same computer hardware (processor, video card, memory, hard drive, etc…) which would therefore reduce costs and power consumption.
It still sounded pretty stupid to me until I thought about the possibility of hooking multiple monitors up to the system! That would mean one computer can be shared between two users, but they would hardly notice that they were using the same computer. Each user would have their own keyboard, mouse, and monitor but everything else would be shared. Of course that’s assuming the computer has a graphics card with two monitor outputs.
That would be more cost effective for both businesses and homes. With how powerful computers have become it is not unreasonable to think that most households could then have one central PC that has a keyboard, mouse, and monitor running into different rooms as if they were different computers. Both parents and kids could have their own computer, and if Microsoft chooses to they could probably setup some advanced parental controls so that parents can see what their kids are doing at all times. That type of system should be more than adequate for families assuming that no one plays graphics-intensive games on the PC.
Unfortunately the split-screen technology is still a few years away, and I’m hoping that Microsoft will look into all the benefits that such a system could bring to families in addition to businesses.