“Last night saw the official launch party for MCE 2005 to the UK press. Unfortunately I was unable to make it but while I wait for the press pack to arrive here are some pictures and details from the launch…
“London: Tonight Microsoft is set to launch Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 in the UK, bringing the best in home entertainment to UK consumers. This exciting showcase heralds a new way for people to enjoy the types of entertainment they care most about – photos, music, video as well as live and recorded television. Around 20 of Microsoft’s Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) partners are involved in the showcase event which promises to demonstrate the very best in home entertainment. Eleven of these OEMs will be launching their latest equipment – soon to be available on the UK highstreet. Companies include: Armari, Carrera, Centerprise, CFL, Elonex, Evesham, Hauppage, HiGrade, HP, Intel, Mesh, NS Optimum, Nvidia, Packard Bell, Research Machines, Rock, Scan, Spire, Toshiba and Vivadi. Each company will be demonstrating its own unique form factors running Media Center 2005.
‘Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 starts delivering on the dream of digital entertainment today. People want choice and flexibility in how and where they enjoy their digital media content. We have been innovating with the Windows PC and collaborating closely with our partners for years to make it easy for people to get best the digital entertainment experiences ever delivered from one device.’ Said Alistair Baker, Managing Director Microsoft Ltd and Vice President Microsoft EMEA…
There will also be a number of other Microsoft partner companies providing services for Media Center 2005 attending the event. These include Intel, Napster, Convergex, KMS Internet, Music Brigade, MSN Music, Aria and Sonic, amongst these services includes the ability to view and interact with websites from anywhere in the room via the remote control, for example the ability to surf online music stores and download music without ever having to use the keyboard or mouse.
With its specially designed user interface Windows XP Media Center 2005 is operated from the touch of a button on a remote control. Allowing you to enjoy all your digital music, pictures, videos, DVD’s, live TV programs and even some exciting new websites, all from the comfort of your sofa.
Windows Media Center heralds a £2 billion home entertainment boom according to Technical agency Conchango. It predicts that the UK release of the new Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 will boom into a £2bn digital home entertainment market over the next three years.
At its US launch, Bill Gates put Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 “at the heart of Microsoft’s vision to offer people the best in complete, connected entertainment experiences”, whilst Conchango head of interactive media Paul Dawson said Media Center “will change the rules” of interactive TV.
Previously thought of as devices confined to the office, PCs now have the look and feel needed to welcome them into the lounge environment. This change in consumer confidence is due to the empowerment offered by the various Windows Media Centers. Entertainment is fast becoming purely digital through the growing popularity of digital cameras, television and downloadable music. Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 allows consumers to do everything from one place.
· Pause and record live TV. Watch, pause and record up to three live TV shows including optional HDTV. Record up to three live TV shows at the same time and watch them on your schedule. Recording works with any TV signal, from a basic antenna to cable, digital cable and satellite. And because MCE 2005 is the first HDTV ready Windows® operating system, computer manufacturers will be shipping new PC’s with HDTV support by the end of this year.
· Movie Finder. Easily find movies to record and enjoy with the innovative Movie Finder feature. Browse top-rated movies, new releases and movies, or search by your favorite actor, genre, cast, director, and more. You can even find similar movies that you might enjoy. It’s like having your own film expert right in your PC!
· CD and DVD burning. Media Center PCs now include built-in DVD and CD burning allowing you to share pictures and home movies, burn CD mixes, archive recorded television and more. Microsoft has integrated Sonic AuthorScript, the world’s leading DVD and CD burning engine within MCE 2005
· Photos. Easily transfer your photos from your digital camera or USB device to your PC; crop, resize, or remove red eye automatically, and easily archive your photos to CD or DVD.
· Enhanced Desktop Experience. Media Center Edition 2005 delivers a sleek, polished new look across the desktop – the first visual design update since the launch of Windows XP – and includes new screensavers, themes, digital media features, and more.
· Windows Media Player 10 integration. Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 includes Windows Media Player 10, which makes it easy to discover, download and play music and video from a wide range of online stores and take it anywhere on a broad choice of devices.
· Windows Messenger integration. With Windows XP Media Center Messenger, chat with your friends with a keyboard or remote control while watching TV.