LAS VEGAS, Jan. 5, 2005 — Today at 2005 International CES, Microsoft Corp. joined with leading industry partners to announce a host of new offerings that further enhance the Digital Entertainment Anywhere vision articulated by Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates in October. These offerings create new entry points to the connected digital home, expand the choices available to existing Windows XP customers, and reinforce the position of Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 as the best version of Windows for any room in the home. Included in these announcements is a broadening of the Media Center experience to a new category of devices – DVD recorders with Microsoft digital video recorder (DVR) software – as well as new content and service partners for Media Center PC customers. In addition, Microsoft announced that support for the PlaysForSure logo program continues to grow to include a new class of devices such as connected televisions.
Support for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 has grown significantly in recent months, with over 80 PC manufacturers and 500 system builders now shipping a wide variety of Media Center PC designs, and holiday sales volume more than double that of last year’s. In addition, there has been unprecedented consumer demand for both Windows Media Player 10, with 90 million downloads worldwide to date, and for the PlaysForSure logo program, which launched in October and is designed to help consumers with Windows XP-based PCs choose digital entertainment devices and online music and video stores that work together, and which now encompasses more than 50 devices and seven services.
“These latest offerings demonstrate the strong momentum behind our vision for Windows and digital entertainment anywhere,” said Will Poole, senior vice president of the Windows Client Business at Microsoft. “Together with an array of innovative partners, we’re making it easy for consumers to have unprecedented flexibility in how they enjoy rich digital entertainment experiences in more places around the home and on the go.”
Windows XP Media Center Experiences Are Available With New Services and Devices
Microsoft is expanding Windows XP Media Center experiences to new offer new services, content and devices that increase consumer choice, including the following:
New content and service partners. Online Spotlight, which provides consumers using Media Center PCs with a convenient, central location to discover and enjoy the latest services designed for Media Center, continues to grow with the addition of new providers Discovery Channel, Fox Sports Interactive Media, TitanTV, XM Satellite Radio and Yahoo! Inc.
Universal home theater remote controls. Manufacturers Logitech, Niveus Media Inc. and Philips are unveiling new Windows XP Media Center-compatible universal remote control devices that enable consumers to easily control Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005-based PCs as well as other consumer electronics devices.
New ISF-certified PCs and components. A range of industry partners plans to ship new PCs with Windows XP Media Center Edition and compatible components that produce unparalleled, high-definition audio and video quality. Alienware Corp., ATI Technologies Inc., HP, Niveus Media Inc., NVIDIA Corp., Ricavision International Inc. and Stack9 Systems Corp. have announced that they will ship products carrying the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) certification, signifying that these PCs and hardware are guaranteed to meet ISF standards for artifact-free film and sports viewing, superb color fidelity, quiet operation and other home-entertainment-based quality parameters.
Today’s announcement also includes the extension of the Media Center experience to a new category of devices: DVD recorders with Microsoft DVR software. Microsoft is partnering with LG Electronics Inc. to deliver the first combination DVD recorder and 160GB hard-disc-drive (HDD) recorder, scheduled to be available by fall 2005. The LG Electronics model LRM-519 HDD DVD recorder will make it easier for people to find, record and burn TV shows to DVD, offering a greater choice for enjoying digital entertainment through seamless connectivity with Windows XP- and Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005-based PCs. When connected to any Windows XP-based PC, the LRM-519 DVD recorder will enable customers to access their photos, music and videos stored on the PC via their TV. In addition, customers will be able to watch TV recorded from the DVD recorder on any Windows XP-based PC and then take it on the go with a Portable Media Center device. The LG model LRM-519 HDD will support the PlaysForSure logo program.
PlaysForSure Logo Program Expands to New Digital Entertainment Devices
Microsoft today announced expanded support for the PlaysForSure logo program, which encompasses more than 50 portable devices, digital media receivers and a wide range of online music and video services (full list can be found at http://www.playsforsure.com). Gateway Inc., iRiver and Samsung Electronics America are introducing new color-screen, mini-hard-drive portable devices that have been verified as PlaysForSure (see related press release). And for the first time, the PlaysForSure logo will extend to connected televisions, with the introduction of new LCD high-definition TVs from Digitrex that enable users to play back digital photo, music and video content stored on a Windows XP-based PC over a home network.
MTV Networks and Microsoft Announce Agreement to Deliver Content and Services
MTV Networks (MTVN) and Microsoft announced today a strategic agreement to cooperate on several long-term digital media initiatives. The two companies will work together to create new ways for consumers to access MTVN entertainment programming and brands such as MTV, VH1, CMT and Comedy Central via a variety of digital entertainment products and scenarios. As part of the alliance, MTVN will utilize key Microsoft technologies, including Windows Media Audio and Video and Windows Media Digital Rights Management 10, to deliver new services such as these:
A PlaysForSure-compliant MTVN Digital Music Service with portable subscription capabilities, available in the Windows Media Player 10 Digital Media Mall
An MTVN music service customized for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
Ongoing MTVN content for download to Portable Media Center devices
TiVoToGo: Enjoying TV on the Go
To provide consumers with even more choice for enjoying video content on the go, today TiVo Inc. will begin rolling out its TiVoToGo software, allowing anyone using a stand-alone TiVo Series2 DVR to transfer their recorded television to a Windows XP-based PC or new Media Center PC for easy transfer and playback on Windows Mobile-based devices, including Portable Media Centers, Pocket PCs and Smartphones. TiVo expects standalone TiVo Series2 subscribers to have access to the software within the next 60 days.
New Tablet PC Hardware and Future Applications Are on Display
Microsoft also is providing new ways for consumers to take their digital entertainment on the go. Specifically, Microsoft, in alliance with Toshiba Digital Products Division, will offer CES attendees a first look at the new Satellite R15-S822 Series Tablet PC aimed at the consumer, home and student audience. In addition, Microsoft is showcasing at CES a range of future Tablet PC applications, tools and PowerToys for consumers, including a tool to copy digital entertainment to Tablet PCs, new games and more.
Windows XP Media Center Edition Is Showcased in New Shopping Experience
Tweeter Home Entertainment Group Inc., the nation’s largest specialty audio-visual retailer, today unveiled a unique consumer electronics retail experience at its new Tweeter Entertainment Architects prototype store in Summerlin, Nev. The Tweeter Entertainment Architects store features live, interactive demonstrations of Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005-based experiences in a digital home setting, and enables consumers to experience firsthand the power, flexibility and choice of Microsoft’s Digital Entertainment Anywhere vision.
Experiencing Microsoft’s Windows XP Digital Entertainment Offerings at the CES 2005 NextGen Home
Throughout CES, Microsoft will demonstrate the latest products built around Windows XP digital entertainment experiences in a specially constructed demonstration home outside the Las Vegas Convention Center. Show attendees can tour this facility Jan. 6-9 to see the latest in “connected home” technology. The home is conveniently located in the parking lot of the Las Vegas Convention Center, near the South Entrance, next to the new monorail stop.
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