Microsoft to roll out flash drive-sized PC in S. Korea

March 17, 2015
An image of Microsoft's Stick PC, which will be released in Seoul in late May. (Photo courtesy of Microsoft Korea)

An image of Microsoft’s Stick PC, which will be released in Seoul in late May. (Photo courtesy of Microsoft Korea)

SEOUL, March 17 (Yonhap) — The South Korean unit of software giant Microsoft Corp. said Tuesday it will launch a Windows-based subminiature PC a little larger than a USB drive in South Korea in late May, as part of its broader drive to boost the presence of its operating platform with a more diverse lineup of connected devices.

The Stick PC, manufactured by Daewoo Lucoms Co., one of Microsoft’s local device-making partners, comes in a black stick-type dongle that is 11cm-long and weighs 50 grams.

Its internal storage, available in 16GB or 32GB, allows itself to run a full Windows 8.1, just like a standard desktop or laptop, Microsoft Korea said.

Once the device is connected to a HDMI port on a TV set, a user faces the same Windows interface seen on a desktop monitor.

The user can perform any tasks, with a Bluetooth-connected keyboard, from document work and checking emails to web search and watching a movie, on a TV screen, instead of turning on the computer.

“It’s a full Windows that provides the same UI (user experience) as the desktop PC. You can read a web-cartoon or search on the web on TV,” said Chang Hong-kook, the head of Microsoft Korea’s device partner business division at a media briefing.

The compact PC will be installed with Microsoft’s cloud-based software Office 365, which removes the user from the need to save his or her work on the PC.

The Seoul unit did not give the exact price for the Stick PC, only to add that it will be sold for about 100,000 won (US$88.4).

The launch of the pocket-sized PC is the latest push by the U.S. software giant to expand its ecosystem to the mobile- and cloud-related realms through diversifying hardware lineups with its partners.

In the local market, the software firm has tied up with smaller device makers to produce tablet PCs for its budget lineup, a move aimed at younger generations here.

Microsoft has not yet released its Windows smartphone in South Korea, one of the world’s biggest smartphone markets where most people are more familiar with Apple Inc.’s iOS and the Android platform by Google Inc.

With its upcoming Windows 10 currently under development for an official release later this year, the firm’s goal has been to come up with one unified operating system (OS) for all Windows-based devices including PCs, tablets, laptops and smartphones.

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