Windows Vista may have some compatibility and reliability issues. But it also sports some pretty cool new features like a 3D window manager and animated backgrounds (if you shell out the money for the “Ultimate” edition). One Vista feature that we’d love to see more of is SideShow, but unfortunately hardware makers have been slow to create SideShow capable devices.
In a nutshell, SideShow lets you access certain Vista features from a secondary display. For example, you can check your email without opening your laptop’s lid. Or you can schedule a TV recording on Windows Media Center using your case’s front-panel display. You know, if you have a laptop or PC case with an external display.
If not, you’re pretty much out of luck. But maybe not for long. Microsoft has just published an SDK for SideShow with support for Bluetooth and QVGA screens: two features that many Windows Mobile devices already have. The folks at “the unwired” speculate this could mean a Windows Mobile SideShow application is on its way. In other words, you’d be able to fire up a program on your phone or PDA that will give you control over your desktop. Your PDA could become your favorite remote control, web browser, or email tool.
Earlier this year Microsoft announced that a Windows Mobile Sideshow program was on its way, but we’ve been waiting about half a year to see anything materialize. Hopefully the SDK launch means we won’t have to wait much longer.