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Mark Peters : October 15th 2004 - 14:02 CET

Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 launched

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MicrosoftAt the Digital Entertainment Anywhere launch event held today in the heart of the entertainment industry, Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates demonstrated how Microsoft and key partners have come together to deliver on the vision of digital entertainment anywhere with the availability of new hardware, software and services, providing unprecedented choice in digital entertainment experiences for consumers around the world. At the center of this, Microsoft unveiled its newest version of Microsoft Windows that will change the way people experience their digital entertainment: Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005.
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 launchedIn addition, Gates showcased a variety of sleek new computer designs, portable media devices and digital content services from Microsoft's industry-leading partners, demonstrating a breadth of choice for how people can now enjoy the types of entertainment they care most about - photos, music, video, and recorded and live TV - and enable them to take them anywhere they want to go. Helping to celebrate this milestone, Oscar-nominated actress and singer Queen Latifah joined Bill Gates on stage to show the audience how easy, yet powerful, the new digital entertainment experience in Windows really is.

"Today, the dream of digital entertainment becomes a reality," Gates said. "People want to choose how and where they enjoy their digital media, and to easily customize their digital entertainment experiences. The vast array of innovative new products and services announced today from Microsoft and our partners enables them to do just that."

Digital Entertainment Around the Home: People today have high expectations for digital entertainment, expectations that, until now, by and large have not been met. People want choice in how and where they are able to access and enjoy their digital entertainment experiences. At the same time, they want the experience to be simple and easy. As a result, an integral part of Microsoft's digital entertainment vision is a focus on choice without complexity -- the ability to easily select from a broad range of devices that provide consumers with multiple options based on their personal interests, whether they are music, photography, movies or video.

A central part of these new offerings is the Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005-based PC, available today in major retail outlets around the world. These new media-enabled PCs offer a simple, convenient way to enjoy digital photos, music, recorded and live television, movies, and more from industry-leading original equipment manufacturers including Dell Inc., Gateway Inc., HP, Sony Corp. and Toshiba. Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 PCs come in a wide range of styles - from desktop PCs to laptop solutions - and prices, all featuring the best in digital entertainment.

"Shipments of Media Center PCs have risen faster than expected as leading-edge consumers have adopted them for their entertainment hubs," said Roger Kay, vice president at IDC. "A combination of technology and services through a robust partner ecosystem has begun to deliver on the promise of a premier digital entertainment experience."

Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005-based PCs make it easy for consumers to have a central location to maintain all their music, photos and TV shows, but consumers want to be able to experience that from various places throughout the home. Announcing new offerings to enable this, Gates also showcased new Media Center Extenders from HP and Linksys and Windows Media® Connect devices from D-Link Systems Inc., Omnifi and Roku, giving consumers the flexibility to enjoy this rich digital content in any room in the home. Microsoft is also releasing the Media Center Extender for Xbox® just in time for the holiday season.

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