Windows SideShow is a technology introduced in Windows Vista that enables Windows PCs to drive a variety of auxiliary display devices connected to the main PC. These devices can be separate from or integrated into the main PC (e.g., a display embedded on the outside of a laptop lid), enabling access to information and media even when the PC is (mostly) turned off. SideShow can also drive the display of PC data on mobile phones and other devices that are connected via Bluetooth or other wireless network protocols.
SideShow display devices can be updated with a number of different kinds of information, such as contacts, maps, calendar appointments, and e-mail messages. They can then be consulted when the PC is otherwise powered down. Since the underlying platform is so power-efficient, SideShow displays integrated into laptops can run for hundreds of hours without draining the laptop batterywhile still providing always-on access to data and multimedia content.
SideShow is coupled to the Windows Sidebar (Microsoft Gadgets) and can easily be extended to be compatible with SideShow secondary displays. However, hardware and silicon providers can also provide native abilities to allow for richer multimedia applications such as text, image, audio and video decode/playback. For example, a notebook with an in-lid display could be used as an MP3 player while powered down, with the notebook battery providing hundreds of hours of playback time because of the low power footprint that the SideShow platform maintains.