According to Mary Jo Foley over at ZDNet, Microsoft is working on customized Windows platforms for various rooms around the house like the kitchen. This makes sense because we’ve already seen computers integrated into refrigerators (LG Electronics) to do some of what would be included with the Windows-based client that they’re currently working on.
Foley says that sources close to the company say that the “add-on layer” to Windows would “integrate with current and future Windows Live Services.” This would be another opportunity for Microsoft to provide an alternative computer experience different from what the average user experiences on a daily basis.
Features with the “Kitchen Client” would include a family calendar, recipe center, entertainment features, and a shared bulletin board. It actually reminds me of an online service we recently wrote about called Cozi – the perfect site for wired families. Much like this kitchen client, Cozi includes a calendar, message center, shopping list, and more.
One central computer in the kitchen would potentially be useful. It could control the coffee pot, refrigerator, oven, toaster etc., All timers would be in one location, on the computer, and you could control all your kitchen devices and appliances even while you’re away from the kitchen via an Internet connection.
Whirlpool already has a refrigerated oven range, so I could see how it could be accessed via the Internet from work to switch the oven from refrigeration mode to the cooking process so that your dinner is ready when you get home. The possibilities really are endless, however its success probably depends partially on the price and how affordable it is.
Now considering more females than males spend time in the kitchen, and males tend to be more tech-savvy (generally speaking), it might take some work for Microsoft to win over the female crowd. Hopefully this would spark some interest and get more females interested in computers and technology.
I like the thought of computer-based appliances, so it’ll be interesting to see what Microsoft does with this kitchen client, and what other rooms they’ll create Windows platforms for.