NEW ORLEANS, May 7, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today introduced new technologies designed to help the hardware community provide consumers with more options to enjoy digital entertainment on a PC, television or portable media player while reducing the steps it takes to connect consumer electronics devices to the PC. The goal of these new technologies is to enable consumers buy networked media devices, bring them home and use them without having to install additional software on the PC or follow complicated setup instructions.
“Microsoft and the hardware industry are bringing PC and consumer electronics synergy to new heights,”
said Rick Thompson, vice president of the Extended Windows Platform Group at Microsoft.
“The result will be innovative products that easily distribute digital media experiences throughout the home and give people more time to enjoy the media they care about most.”
At the 12th annual Windows®
Hardware Engineering Conference, Microsoft highlighted five key efforts as part of its commitment to providing the hardware community with the building blocks to advance the PC platform:
A Media Center TV client prototype will distribute all the great digital media experiences and simple user interface from a Microsoft®
Windows XP Media Center Edition PC to any room in the house that has a display. With the addition of a Media Center TV client device, consumers who are using Media Center PCs to listen to music, record TV programs or watch photo slide shows can enjoy these experiences on a television or PC display in the living room, even if their Media Center PC is in the den.
Content directory services will enable hardware manufacturers to easily develop devices better capable of playing PC media files over home networks. Based on the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) Forum A/V Working Group specifications, the content directory services will provide access to user-specified music, picture and video files. The service will allow compatible devices to access both the files and the metadata associated with this media.
Universal Audio Architecture (UAA) is an initiative led by Microsoft that will provide built-in drivers on the Windows-based PC to raise the bar in PC audio quality. With UAA, Microsoft plans to deliver a new set of Windows audio drivers for USB, IEEE 1394 and
the code name for Intel Corp.’s next-generation PC audio specification.
Media Transport Protocol (MTP) is designed to improve transfer and management of digital media between the PC and portable media players. MTP enables devices to synchronize, mange playlists, and match content to device-side capabilities. Devices that use MTP as their connection protocol can be installed without additional software.
High-Performance Media Access Technology (HighMAT) , for which Microsoft and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (Panasonic) also highlighted new developments and industry support in a separate announcement, was jointly developed by the two companies. HighMAT (TM) improves interoperability for personal digital media content between PCs and popular electronic devices such as CD players, car stereos and DVD devices, and dramatically improves startup times for devices by providing a consistent, easily navigated method of storing, arranging and playing back digital photo, music and video collections on recordable discs such as CD-RW media and now recordable DVD media.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.
Microsoft, Windows and HighMAT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
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Windows XP Media Center Supporting Quotes
“ATI is excited to be working with Microsoft on new technology to help distribute the Media Center PC experience throughout the home. ATI’s XILLEON integrated system on a chip includes video processing and scaling capabilities that provide crisp images across the full gamut of monitors and TVs. It also comes loaded with functionality to allow OEMs to easily differentiate their products through customization. These include the 300MHz processor, powerful enough to run a wide range of applications, and a PCI bus interface that makes it compatible with a vast range of existing subsystems. The Media Center TV client represents a quantum leap in PC-TV convergence.”
North America Corporate Development
ATI Technologies Inc.
“Creative Technology Ltd., as a leader in the portable media device market, is excited about the promise of Media Transport Protocol-based devices. MTP will allow rich PC and portable media device interaction and will also simplify the consumer experience. We are actively working with Microsoft to refine the MTP specification and to develop and test MTP in our products.”
Chian Yi Loo
Vice President of Development
Creative Technology Ltd.
“The industry is ready to take the next leap to improve audio in PCs. The Universal Audio Architecture initiative together with Intel’s ‘Azalia’ audio architecture enables us to greatly improve the end user’s PC audio experience with higher quality, new usage models as well as the ever-important stability of the solution stack. Intel is working with Microsoft and other industry leaders on initiatives like UAA to deliver the next-generation audio experience for consumers and business.”
Intel Technology Initiatives Manager
Desktop Initiative Planning and Advance Development Group
“Our next generation of NetTune products will leverage the content directory service, allowing consumers to easily access content stored on the PC and to operate devices like regular consumer audiovisual products with superb sound and picture quality.”
Network Project Manager