REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 30, 2003 — Today, in conjunction with the launch of Microsoft® Windows®
XP Media Center 2004, Microsoft Corp. announced that key digital content providers, including CinemaNow Inc., Movielink and Napster, are bringing consumers amazing new entertainment experiences on Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004-based PCs. In addition, leading companies such as WildTangent Inc., MSNTV and Sonic Solutions, and Microsoft partners such as MSN TV service, are bringing gaming, news, DVD creation and other features to the new version of Media Center. To ensure convenient access to these services and more, Microsoft unveiled Online Spotlight, an online guide created specifically for Media Center Edition PC customers that offers a central location for them to find the latest third-party services and software, such as music, movie trailers, news updates and even Karaoke. Microsoft also announced the availability of the Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 Software Development Kit (SDK), which provides developers for Windows with the tools to develop a host of new software and services for Media Center PC customers.
“Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 is the best open entertainment platform, bringing unprecedented convenience to users of Windows and a wave of new opportunity for the entertainment and software industries,” said Will Poole, senior vice president of the Windows Client organization at Microsoft. “CinemaNow, Movielink and Napster are among the first to deliver these exciting new services for Media Center PCs, providing consumers with more convenient and simpler access to thousands of high-quality songs and movies on demand — all from the comfort of their sofa.”
Remote Control Access to Exciting New Digital Entertainment
With Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004, consumers will now have the opportunity to enjoy a whole new range of activities and experiences on their Media Center PC including the ability to order movies and music on demand or play games, all with the touch of a remote control. Leading technology companies have developed new entertainment experiences that can be accessed from anywhere in the room. Some of the industry partners that Microsoft has been working with include these:
CinemaNow. CinemaNow has created a unique version of its Web site experience that allows customers to browse more than 1,200 feature films using their Media Center remote control, and then purchase and watch them on demand.
Movielink. Media Center PC users will have the ability to select, download and watch hundreds of broadband video-on-demand movies from Movielink’s library up close on their PCs or, through the ease of a remote control, on their couch from across the room.
Napster. Available by Christmas, Napster’s Media Center application will allow consumers to enjoy their digital music wherever they want through an easy-to-use menu designed to be viewed from a distance. The service will offer music fans access to more than 500,000 tracks of the world’s greatest music from all five major record labels and hundreds of independent labels.
WildTangent. WildTangent is delivering gaming capabilities that will be playable with the Media Center remote control including “Otto” and “Gem Master 3: Mystic.”
Sonic Solutions. Sonic Solutions is delivering PrimeTime Deluxe, which expands on the Media Center experience by making it easy to archive personal digital media such as home movies and recorded TV shows onto DVD discs that can be played on any home DVD player.
Musicbrigade. Musicbrigade serves up thousands of music videos from hot new acts to classic hits, all available on demand from a convenient remote-control interface.
Live365. The largest Internet radio network, Live365 is now available through Media Center. Listeners can choose from 5,000 stations and experience this unparalleled diversity from the comfort of their couch.
MSN TV. MSN TV, the pioneer of Internet service on television, is delivering MSN TV Today. This Internet service gives Media Center Edition users quick access to the content they care about — news, weather and financial information — all from the comfort of their couch.
“Microsoft is really pleased to work with artists and entertainment companies to bring their high-fidelity content directly into the home through Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004,” said Jim Allchin, group vice president of Platforms at Microsoft. “We’re looking forward to deepening our long-term relationships with them, and we’re committed to innovative Digital Rights Management Solutions that protect their intellectual property as they deliver new and exciting entertainment experiences to people all over the world through their PCs.”
The unveiling of Online Spotlight provides consumers using Media Center Edition PCs with a convenient, central location to discover the latest software and services designed for Media Center. With Online Spotlight, music, movie trailers, news updates, software and product tips are available with a touch of the remote control.
“Media Center PCs truly give consumers a new, simple and convenient way to enjoy Movielink movies, whether they are sitting at their computers or lying on a couch across the room,” said Jim Ramo, CEO of Movielink. “By integrating our service with Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004, we are able to offer full-length feature films over IP with a televisionlike viewing experience, thereby making the Internet a coequal player in the delivery of video entertainment to the home.”
“CinemaNow and Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 bring movies on the PC to the living room,” said Curt Marvis, chief executive officer of CinemaNow. “By combining the on-demand services of CinemaNow with the elegant design of Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004, consumers for the first time have a simple way to order a movie, sit back and watch it from the comfort of their couch.”
“Napster 2.0 will be the first online music service that allows consumers to enjoy their digital music wherever they want,” said Chris Gorog, chairman and CEO of Roxio, the parent company of Napster. “Our relationship with Microsoft will enable music fans to take their digital music beyond the PC so they can access and enjoy Napster on their televisions, using just a remote control.”
Windows XP Media Center Edition Software Development Kit
With the release of the SDK, Microsoft is enabling developers of Windows-based applications to bring a broad range of services and experiences to consumers using Media Center PCs. Using the Media Center SDK, developers can create new applications and services that integrate with Media Center, including advanced support for television, audio, video and the remote control. Because Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 is based on Windows XP, developers can use familiar tools such as Visual Studio® .NET 2003 and FrontPage®
and use existing code written for other versions of Windows. More than 100 companies are already using the Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 SDK, so many new applications and services are on the way. More information on developing for Media Center can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/mediacenter/partners/becomeapartner.asp.
About Windows XP Media Center Edition
Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition evolves the home PC with easy-to-use integrated digital entertainment that consumers can enjoy when and how they want. It combines the functionality of traditional PC applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel with the ability to enjoy music, television, personal video recording (PVR), pictures, digital video and DVD with remote control access. Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 features the quality and compression of Windows Media 9 Series, which helps users create, manage and enjoy more high-quality digital music and video than before.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) 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.
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