Availability of Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition To Expand Throughout Europe and Australia

REDMOND, Wash., May 10, 2004 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it is working with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and original device manufacturers (ODMs) to offer Media Center PCs later this year to five new countries: Australia, Austria, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Based on Microsoft® Windows®
XP Media Center Edition 2004, Media Center PCs incorporate easy-to-use integrated digital entertainment that consumers can enjoy when and how they want. In addition to traditional PC-based tasks such as word processing and spreadsheets, consumers can use Windows XP Media Center PCs to enjoy live television, for personal video recording (PVR), digital music or video playback, DVDs and pictures, all with the freedom of remote-control access.

The following OEMs plan to introduce Media Center PCs:

  • Australia: Acer Inc., HP and Toshiba Corp.

  • Austria: chiliGREEN Computer GmbH and GERICOM AG

  • Italy: Acer, ASEM SpA, Brain Technology SpA, CDC Point SpA., Comex SpA, Datamatic SpA, Elettrodata SpA, Frael SpA, H.I.I. SpA, HP, Intercomp SpA, Olidata SpA, Packard Bell, Toshiba and Winner SpA

  • Netherlands : Dynabyte, Fujitsu Siemens, HP, MegaSellers, MyCom Computers, Norrod Computers, Packard Bell, Paradigit Computers, Qmotion Computers and Sky Computers

“As a result of the great success and positive response from our customers and partners, we are pleased to further our commitment to expanding the Media Center Edition experience to these new markets,” said Joe Belfiore, general manager of the Windows eHome Division at Microsoft. “Our goal is to introduce consumers around the globe to a more convenient and simple way to access thousands of high-quality songs, personal photos and memories, movies and television — all from the comfort of their sofa.”

Media Center PCs enable consumers to use their PC as their entertainment hub and to broaden their entertainment reach. According to a report by Avi Greengart, senior analyst for Jupiter Research, “Windows XP Media Center PCs will become the standard OS for midlevel PCs and various desktop replacement notebooks over the next 12 to 18 months.”*

The new PC manufacturers join the more than 50 companies that offer a wide variety of Media Center PC designs. They include Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, Gateway Inc., HP, Packard Bell, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Toshiba and ViewSonic Corp., which are already shipping Media Center PCs to consumers in the United States, Canada, Korea, Japan, China, United Kingdom, France and Germany.

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, 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 people create, manage and enjoy more high-quality digital music and video than before.

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.

* “Consumer PCs and Digital Entertainment,” Jupiter Research, September 2003

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