Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Bill Gates Previews Vista's Entertainment Capabilities

Microsoft's forthcoming services for Windows Live and its Windows Vista OS will help people find and manage entertainment content on the Windows-based Media Center PC or Microsoft TV IPTV Edition-powered set-top boxes, said Bill Gates, speaking at the opening of the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Gates showed how Microsoft's next-generation Vista operating system will tie into online services, such as video.

Some of Microsoft's initiatives include:

Windows Vista - Integrated Media Center experience

The new OS will feature a a new look and feel that is optimized for high-definition (HD) wide-screen display. The Media Center experience in Windows Vista can also be moved throughout the home via the Media Center Extender functionality of the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system.

Windows Vista - CableCARD support

Media Center in Windows Vista will also deliver new HD scenarios, including CableCARD support, that will allow people to watch and record premium and HD cable programming on Media Center PCs without a set-top cable box.

URGE Digital Music Service

This will give users of Windows Media Player 11 access to more than 2 million songs from major and independent labels as well as exclusive MTV Networks programming and content on a subscription basis.


Microsoft announced a multiyear agreement with DIRECTV that will enable consumers to enjoy their digital media in the networked home and on portable devices. Microsoft and DIRECTV will work together to enable digital content to flow between Windows-based PCs, DIRECTV devices, PlaysForSure-based portable media devices and Xbox 360.


It was also announced that Microsoft and British Sky Broadcasting (Sky), the leading pay-TV provider in the U.K. and Ireland, plans to create a Windows Media Center version of Sky's forthcoming broadband content service, Sky by broadband. The service will enable millions of Sky TV customers to access video content from their PC, including hundreds of movies and sports clips.


See also