A Computing Forecast

A view of the room of drawings at the Louvre in Paris on April 4, 2006. The Louvre has 120,000 drawings, including a number that have never been opened simply because there are too many to restore.
AP Photo/Jacques Brinon
Consumer Correspondent Herb Weisbaum answers questions about the Microsoft ruling and changes ahead for computer users.
Q:color> It sounds like no matter what the judge rules, consumers are going to come out OK when all is said and done?

A:color> We probably will. Our stock portfolios might take a short-time hit for a while but there should be lots of great new software and new hardware headed to market in the years ahead. Expect to see devices that cost less, work better, do what you want them to and fewer like the Windows-based computers we use today.

Q:color> How will computing change if things do move to the Internet as the experts predict it will?

A:color> The way it works today, your desktop box is a smart machine. It comes loaded with all sorts of jazzy software that you're paying for whether you use it or not. And most of us use very little of what these programs can do. If software moves to the Internet, the boxes you have at home would get dumbed down. Most of their brains would be accessed via the Internet. Simpler machine, less software: Prices drop.

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