PALO ALTO—In the first week of May, Nancy Kendzierski and a team of Hewlett-Packard Co. software engineers will arrive at the Computer HUman Interaction conference in Austin, Tex., armed not with the floppy disks of their trade but with a six-minute-long videotape containing their vision of tomorrow’s computers.

The tape demonstrates a portion of what H-P calls its Cooperative Computing Environment (CCE). The project is based on the concept that teams of machines and people can work cooperatively across diverse geographic locations and several different media—with incredible power and speed. The idea isn’t unique to H-P. but the tape shows just how firmly committed to the concept the company is. On it, people using different terminals work simultaneously on the same document—with the changes one makes appearing on the screens of the others. Doctors in disparate locations view slices of CT scans on comput ers while discussing procedures over the...

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