Bill Gates opened the WinHEC conference this week with a keynote speech where he predicted the continued growth of Windows, thanks to its scalability, new power management features, and upcoming technology such as digital TV. Gates also introduced a new member of the Windows family of operating systems, "Windows Terminal," Microsoft's first NC-type product. Windows Terminal is a terminal system that runs the operating system from a central server. The device is a notch down from the NetPC and will be a so-called "thin client" running "remote Windows" over the network.

Gates also announced that Memphis, the next release of Windows 95, and Windows NT 5.0 would be released in 1998. He said that Microsoft will combine the two operating systems after these 1998 releases. "Most customers will have mixed environments for some time," however, he added.

The Microsoft CEO expects to see millions of NetPCs in the near future as well. He demonstrated Zero Administration Windows (ZAW), a new technology that allows network administrators to configure each machine so that the users cannot overwrite system settings. Also demoed were DVD multimedia applications and the new DirectX 5.0 technology.