Prepared Text of Remarks by Jim Allchin, Group Vice
President, Platforms, Microsoft Corporation
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 Launch
September 30, 2003
JIM ALLCHIN: Good morning, and welcome to the next era in computing. Our industrys potential over the next several years is just staggering, both in terms of what well make possible and how many people well touch. Today I want to share with you our vision for eXPerience Computing and show you an incredible new product that demonstrates that vision.
The PC has literally changed the world. The industry took a new invention, the personal computer, and poured functionality and innovation into it for the next 25 years. Microsoft and our partners dedicated ourselves to making it do more, perform faster, and cost less. We focused on core technologies and made them better. The PC has come to define how people work, and even how they play. But were just getting started.
Today, Microsoft is focused on helping people realize their full potential. After a lot of hard work and discussion with our industry, our partners, and our customers, todays Windows XP PC is a great general purpose machine with many powerful features and benefits. Now , we want to free people from having to string together the powerful features necessary to complete any given task. We want to free them from having to adjust technical settings each time they do something different. We want the PC not people to do the workto integrate its features and in so doing, deliver even more powerful, end-to-end experiences.
Have you ever had a partnership that just clicks? Youre so on the same wavelength, you finish each others sentences. When you get together, 1+1 equals five. Theres no need to explain context, approach, or intention. You have such a great time focusing on what you need to get done that distractions or interruptions simply dont get through. This type of partnership is exhilarating. Its super productive and incredibly fulfilling. It almost heightens your senses working together is a natural, intuitive, powerful, and immersive experience. This is the type of partnership we envision people having with their PC.
To achieve this, Microsoft and our partners are fundamentally changing the way we design hardware, software, and services. Were morphing the beige box into a breakthrough combination of hardware form factor, software, and services built around complete scenarios or, as we like to call them, experiences. From beginning to end, were thinking through everything a person may want to do in the process of completing a task. As we build an experience, each of its aspects (software, hardware, services) influences the design of the others. This new holistic approach to innovation signifies a new age, the age of eXPerience Computing.
eXPerience Computing is innovative software, innovative hardware, and innovative services designed together around experiences. First, software. Windows XP is a platform for end-to-end experiences. Hence the name XP. Take digital photos. On Windows XP you plug in your camera and download your pictures. Then you can mail them, publish them online, and print them locally or through a service. eXPerience Computing started with Windows XP, and we learned a lot in the process.
To make each experience simple and compelling , the system needs to adjust and optimize its settings automatically .The only input from you should be I want to listen to music now. Or Im delivering a presentation. Or as you see on this slide, I want to see my photographs. So weve been expanding Windows to add a new dimension. Were adding an experience-purpose mode to the existing general purpose mode, and were making it easy to switch between them.
Nothing shows off great software like great hardware, and vice-versa. In my organization, I have a team dedicated to creating hardware prototypes around software ideas and working with our partners to bring them to life. We did this with HP for the first edition of Media Center, which shipped last October. We shipped Windows Pocket PC Phone Edition last August. Last November, we released Windows XP Tablet Edition. At WinHEC, we introduced the Athens concept PC, and just recently the first SmartPhones reached the market.
Great hardware is easy to set up, ergonomic, and its quiet enough and sexy enough for my living room. It has the power to make sights and sounds come alive. Its physical design enhances the experience think about the smoothness of the surface on a Tablet PC or the weight of the pen. Microsoft is a software company, not a hardware company, but the best path to innovation is to invest in the overall customer experience; again software, and hardware, and services.
Windows XP created a wave of services publishing photos, ordering prints, news, shopping and financial services; gaming services; and so on. Now youre starting to see services customized for the form factors you use to access them:
Synchronization services that let you read email on your SmartPhone.
Web pages formatted specifically for the smaller screen real estate on your PocketPC.
Instant Messaging that accommodates pen-based input.
Conferencing services that combine text communications with audio and visual communications.
Software, hardware, services all designed in concert. Thats eXPerience Computing.
These devices represent the future that people want, one thats possible through eXPerience Computing. And Im very excited, because today, I get to announce the best implementation of eXPerience Computing we have to date, Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004. This is a very big announcement for us. Bill couldnt be here today, but he wanted to say a few words, so we have him on video.
Media Center exemplifies eXPerience Computing. Its all about experiences . Its about you – your music, your photographs, your videos, your TV programs, your radio shows. In fact, the very first thing you see on Media Center is a list of the experiences, and one press on the remote control takes you straight to your favorite one. Media Centers hardwarecharacteristics enhance the experiences it offers: the aesthetics, the remote, the flat panel monitor or plasma screen. Services are customized to extend the entertainment experiences. Theyre designed to be viewed from a distance, simply using the remote. Media Center 2004 is about lifestyle. Its moving from Geek to Sleek. Its the right marriage of hardware, software, and services for your living room. Media Center exemplifies eXperience Computing.
Look at these hardware designs!This is not the same PC you knew even two years ago. If I didnt know better, Id think this one is a high end A/V receiver. And this one is a laptop with a bright, 16×9 screen and an amazing sound system. Imagine watching a DVD movie on this!
On Media Center, you switch from general mode to experience mode by pressing the green button on the remote.And you can navigate between video, TV, music, and photos just as easily.
I was really proud of the digital photo experience when we released Windows XP. But this product has made the photo experience simply fantastic . It works like this: You take a photo at a party, and everyone wants to see it. So you remove the media card from your camera and pop it into your Media Center. Up comes the photo. You dont have to tell Media Center thats what you want its already figured that out. Next, you use the remote to rotate the photo, remove red-eye, and adjust the contrast. Then you zoom in and pan across it, and finally you print a copy for each person in the photo, all using the remote. From the time you plug your media card into the Media Center PC to the time you print out photos, you never once leave the digital photo experience. Your Media Center is in experience mode the entire time. The other Media Center experiences are just as complete, simple, and compelling: like watching movies or videos, listening to music or radio, and recording television, as youll see in the demos. And any time you want to use your Media Center as a general purpose PC, you can, because all the power of Windows XP is right underneath the surface.
So how are people responding to Media Center? They love it. Let me share some data. 9 out of 10 first generation Media Center owners in the US would recommend the product to their friends. And people are definitely taking advantage of the entertainment experiences. Two-thirds of those polled use it to watch TV, and another third have hooked it up to surround sound. 27 percent of Media Center owners link it to a home network; we see a future for Media Center as the hub for home entertainment. Customer enthusiasm is real, as retailers will tell you. Lets hear what four of them have to say.
Media Center has given people a powerful reason to invest in a new PC. Hardware manufacturers are excited about the growth opportunity this represents for them. Partners like Gateway, HP, Samsung, Toshiba, and have been on board since version one, and are continuing to invest Gateway with their new Gateway 600 LCD TV Media Center, HP with their new PhotoSmart Media Center PC, and Toshiba with their new Media Center Laptops.
Today Im pleased to announce two new partners. In just a few weeks, Sony will ship two new models of VAIO Media Center PCs. And beginning today, Dell started taking online orders for Dell Media Center PCs.
In total more than 40 manufacturers will ship PCs running Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 this holiday season, some starting at prices below $1,000, thus extending the products reach beyond high-end and into the mainstream. This will be the must-have system this holiday season.
We have shipped first generation Media Centers in Canada, Korea, and the U.S. Today Im excited to announce even wider international distribution. Fujitsu-Siemens, NEC/Packard Bell, and more than 30 other hardware manufacturers will ship Media Center PCs in France, Germany, Japan, and the U.K. Later this fall, Media Center PCs will ship in China. Lets hear what our hardware partners have to say.
Earlier I talked about services customized to deliver entertainment experiences from a distance, using the remote. Today, Im pleased to announce partnerships with several leading digital entertainment companies. MovieLink will deliver movies and videos, on-demand, right from the Media Center remote. CinemaNow will make movies available in the same way. And Napsters music store will make it possible for people to purchase songs and albums, you guessed it, right from the remote control. These services are not separate Web pages you jump to you link to them seamlessly from inside the Media Center experiences. They take advantage of the Media Center UI and remote, and of Windows Media 9s best of class audio and video fidelity and unrivaled compression algorithm. Today were launching Online Spotlight, a guide to Media Center services, making them easy to find as they become available.
Until today, media companies had no way to deliver new audio or video programming short of creating a new cable TV channel. As the first truly open entertainment platform, Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 changes everything. It gives everyone , from the smallest independent record label to the largest media conglomerate, a direct path into the home. More than 100 partners have our Software Development Kit. What does Media Center mean to the future of their businesses? Lets hear it straight from them.
As you just saw, theres a world of great content out there. Microsoft is committed to helping entertainment companies grow their businesses. We want to help them deliver great experiences to people through their PCs. Were also committed to ensuring that artists are compensated for their work. We have a mature and comprehensive Digital Rights Management system, which supports models from subscription and rental, to a la carte downloads.
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 represents a magical combination of great software, great hardware, and great services. It gives people simple and compelling experiences that move computing beyond the desktop into new places like your living room. Today youve witnessed the beginning of the eXPerience Computing era. Thank you.