Microsoft began the latest phase of its big push for consumers’ digital lives by unveiling Windows XP Media Centre Edition 2005 (MCE) and a host of products designed to work alongside it.
Bill G and Queen Latifah demonstrated the most recent features in MCE at an event in Los Angeles, highlighting integration with Windows Media Player 10 and a compatibility with a range of new hardware devices.
To coincide with the do, Microsoft’s main press release describes a hypothetical family and how they might use digital media across the day – from recording TV programmes via their web browser to broadcasting music around the home using a Media Centre Extender.
The company also announced 22 new security holes in its Windows range whilst issuing an update to address them. One of the new flaws managed to affect Macintosh OSX users.
By promoting MCE as a digital hub, the company hopes to show consumers that they can view, share and store their movies, music and pictures around the home and on the move. To reinforce their view of the future, the company also announced a number of devices from partners like HP, Dell and Creative Labs.
Music is a very important part of MS’s plans, with Windows Media 10 and MSN Music receiving another PR boost. Amongst the devices promoted by MS were new Digital Audio Receivers from Dlink, Roku and MoniFi which are designed to play digital music from a central source in any room of the house. Creative, Gateway, iRiver and other also announced new digital media players for the Christmas season, with capabilities ranging from simple music to full video playback.
Will Poole, senior vice president for the Windows Client division at Microsoft said in a statement: “For years, many in the consumer electronics industry have viewed digital entertainment as a field of dreams: if you provide consumers with a solution, they’ll build it into a larger experience – regardless of cost or complexity. Windows XP Media Centre PC and all of these other devices and services make it possible, for the first time, for the average consumer to enjoy digital entertainment anywhere, anytime and in any way.”