Microsoft and Industry Partners Deliver on Digital Entertainment Anywhere Vision With Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 12, 2004 — Today at the Digital Entertainment Anywhere launch event, held in the center of the entertainment industry, Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates publicly unveiled Windows
® XP Media Center Edition 2005, bringing consumers the best in home entertainment with the power and convenience of a Windows XP-based PC. Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 is the core of Microsoft’s vision for Digital Entertainment Anywhere. Its immediate availability in major retail outlets around the world and directly from leading computer manufacturers including Dell Inc., Gateway Inc., HP, Sony Corp. and Toshiba marks a milestone in how Microsoft and industry partners are delivering on this vision. With Media Center PCs, consumers get the best version of Microsoft® Windows ever for the home, offering the full capabilities of a Windows XP-based PC with exciting new experiences for music, digital photography, movies and television. In addition, with the availability of Windows Media®
Center Extender devices offered by HP today and Linksys later this year, consumers are now able to extend these experiences to TV displays throughout the house.

“Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 is at the heart of Microsoft’s vision to offer people around the world the best in complete, connected entertainment experiences,” Gates said. “Together with our partners, we are truly revolutionizing digital entertainment on the PC.”

Media Center PCs for Every Style, in Any Size and for Any Room

Microsoft is working with the world’s most popular PC manufacturers to deliver Media Center PCs in the widest array of choices ever, including new PCs designed exclusively for the living room such as the HP Digital Entertainment Center and the Niveus AVX. In addition, Dell, Gateway, Toshiba and Sony are offering new Media Center PCs in a wide range of prices and styles, from desktop PCs to laptops, all featuring the best in digital entertainment. Finally, PCs with Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 are available to consumers from thousands of systems builders around the world, including ARM Systems and PC Club in the United States and Daiwa Distribution Inc. in Canada.

Experiencing More With Photos, Music, Television and Movies

Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 enables the best in home entertainment and personal productivity and creativity on a home PC in an easy, familiar and connected way. Windows XP Media Center Edition customers can experience digital entertainment such as digital photos, home movies, music, television and more, all in a simple, seamless design usable with a mouse and keyboard or even a remote control. Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 delivers unprecedented new experiences to customers, including the following:

  • Ability to pause and record live TV. Media Center PC users can watch, pause and record up to three live TV shows* at the same time and watch them on their schedule. Recording works with any TV signal, from a basic antenna to cable, digital cable and satellite. And because Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 is the first high-definition-ready Windows operating system, consumers can easily record and play back TV shows in glorious high-definition quality. Computer manufacturers will be shipping new PCs with HDTV support by the end of this year.

  • Movie Finder. Consumers can easily find movies to record and enjoy with the breakthrough new Movie Finder feature. They can browse top-rated or new releases and movies; search by categories such as actor, genre, cast and director; and even find similar movies they might enjoy. It’s like having a film expert right in the PC.

  • CD and DVD burning. Many Media Center PCs now feature built-in DVD and CD burning, allowing consumers to share pictures and home movies, burn CD mixes, archive recorded television programs, and more.** Microsoft has integrated Sonic AuthorScript, the world’s leading DVD and CD burning engine, with Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005.

  • Photos. Media Center PC users can easily transfer photos from their digital camera or USB device to their PC; crop, resize and remove red-eye automatically; and easily archive their photos to a CD or DVD.

  • Enhanced desktop experience. Media Center Edition 2005 delivers a sleek, polished new look across the desktop — marking the first visual design update since the launch of Windows XP — and includes new screen savers, themes and digital media features.

  • Windows Media Player 10 integration. Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 includes Windows Media Player 10, which makes it easy for users to discover, download and play music and video from a wide range of online stores and take it anywhere on a broad range of devices.

  • Windows Messenger integration. Using Windows Messenger, Media Center PC users can chat with friends using a keyboard or remote control, while engaged in other activities such as watching TV.

Entertainment Around the Home and On the Go

Consumers can enjoy the complete Media Center experience anywhere in their home with new Media Center Extender devices available from HP beginning today and from Linksys later this year. Media Center Extenders allow users to enjoy their music, photos, recorded television programs and videos from their Media Center PC on any TV display in the home. In addition, consumers can turn their Xbox®
into a Media Center Extender with the Media Center Extender for Xbox that will be available through leading retailers in time for the holiday season.

Access to Exciting New Digital Entertainment Services

Also today Microsoft announced exciting new services built on Media Center Edition 2005, from content partners such as these:

  • AOL
    ®

    Music on Demand
    AOL Music on Demand is a new service from AOL®
    for Broadband that offers consumers access to a comprehensive library of music videos on demand. In addition, AOL Music on Demand features today’s most popular music videos, as well as the best of AOL for Broadband’s original music programming, including Sessions@AOL, intimate, in-studio performances from today’s top artists, and select performances from the AOL Music Live weekly concert series.

  • Kodak. The Kodak EasyShare system makes it easy for Ofoto customers to access and view their digital images, and share those images in their Ofoto accounts anytime from their TV or Media Center PC display with the convenience of using a remote control.

  • MSN Music. MSN is adding to the power of Media Center PCs by integrating MSN®
    Music into the Media Center experience. Consumers can purchase and enjoy their favorite music without ever having to leave the couch.

  • NPR. NPR is an internationally acclaimed producer and distributor of noncommercial news, talk and entertainment programming. NPR now offers Media Center PC users current and past editions of its most popular programs including “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered” and “Fresh Air.”

  • Reuters. Reuters will introduce an interactive, full-screen news video experience through the Reuters News channel, providing Media Center PC users continuously updated news footage with easy-to-use DVD-style interaction.

  • MSN Remote Record. Consumers who forgot to record their favorite show can set up recordings on their Media Center Edition PC remotely via MSN Remote Record, which will be available later this year.

These services join more than 15 others already available to consumers who have Media Center PCs.

Experiencing New Media Center PCs Worldwide

Consumers can experience new Media Center PCs by visiting retail and online stores, including Amazon.com, Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, Costco, Dell.com, Fry’s Electronics, hpshopping.com and Sam’s Club, in more than 13 countries. Throughout the next several months, Microsoft is enabling U.S. consumers to experience new Windows XP home technologies firsthand at the Windows on Wheels tour, which will visit a number of cities nationwide, including Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Windows on Wheels is a portable, translucent experience center in which consumers can test-drive the hottest new Windows XP digital entertainment products for use in the home and on the go, including Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, Media Center Extender, Portable Media Centers and Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, in a home environment. Tour information can be found at http://www.windows-experience.com

About Microsoft.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

* TV tuning features may vary by manufacturer. Supports up to one DTV/HDTV and two analog tuners for local channels via over-the-air signal, in the United States only. All other supported regions can support up to two tuners per computer.

** DVD burning features may vary by manufacturer.

Note: To enjoy all the benefits of Windows XP, Internet access is recommended; for some features, such as the electronic programming guide, Movie Finder and Online Spotlight, it is required.

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