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October 26th
11:16 AM/CST

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Monday, November 1st

Think Toaster: Stand Alone Scanning Appliance Now A Reality
[11:41 AM] Microtek has announced a stand alone scanning appliance that does not need a PC to operate. Users can utilize a ZIP disk or floppy disk to transport files to a Mac (or PC). Microtek has visions of toasters and coffee-makers dancing through their heads as they attempt to bring the ease-of-use inherent in these items (and in Macs) directly to the non-nerd computer user.

"When we designed ImageDeck, we wanted to address the growing technology trend of 'Information Appliances,' or products that combine the power of computer technology devices with the ease-of-use associated with traditional household appliances," said Mary Ann Whitlock, Microtek's director of Marketing. "ImageDeck is easy to use, virtually maintenance free and requires no computer hook-up, liberating the user from the frustrating complexities associated with scanner-to-PC connectivity."

ImageDeck is expected to retail for under US$500 and will be available by the end of the year.

The Mac Observer Spin: Microtek is likely the first among many to bring such stand alone products to the desktops and kitchen counters of America in the push towards making computers a commodity. While the price point is way too high to really make much of an impact on their intended market of house wives, school kids, and SO/HO men and women, it will be a boon to self-serve computer services such as Kinko's and large offices that need occasional scanning services, but don't want o dedicate an employee or Mac to do it.

We are in the midst of the most important aspect of the ongoing Computer Revolution, and that is the making of the computer into an appliance. With Wintel based machines hitting the US$500 mark and the fabulous hints that Steve Jobs gave us in his Fortune interview concerning Apple's handheld and palmtop plans, stand alone appliances such as Microtek's ImageDeck are all giant leaps toward this direction.

This has particularly important ramifications for Mac users in that Apple can earn much needed market share from the totally untapped non-computer user (some 45% of Americans). While it is probable that Apple will continue to make further inroads into the Wintel market with consumer items like the iMac, it is the first time owners that will bring the biggest increase of market share to Apple. Microtek and other manufacturer's supports for the Mac with stand alone products and other appliance like computer devices will all be a part of that growth.

Microtek - Apple



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