REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 3, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the release of Microsoft® Windows® XP Media Center Edition, the newest member of the Windows XP family, to computer manufacturers in the United States and Canada. It is expected to ship to Korea in the next few weeks. With development of the software now complete, computer manufacturers working with Microsoft, including Hewlett-Packard Co. (offering distribution in North America) and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea), will have the ability to ship the first wave of new media center PCs in time for the holiday shopping season. These new media center PCs, powered by the Intel Pentium 4 processor, will provide the performance needed to get the best-in-class digital entertainment experience. Computer manufacturers and hardware and software vendors endorse media center PCs as a critical advancement that will provide not only an exciting consumer experience but also new opportunities for continued innovation as the PC evolves to become a more indispensable consumer entertainment device.
"Every digital media enthusiast, every college student, every teenager, every apartment dweller, will love this technology," said Jim Allchin, group vice president of the Platforms Products Group at Microsoft. "Windows XP Media Center Edition takes the great photo, music and video experiences introduced last fall with Windows XP to the next level and adds a new TV experience that only the power of the PC can deliver. It's an example of how innovation continues to make the PC even more central to people's lives. We're thrilled that industry leaders and partners share Microsoft's vision and enthusiasm for media center PCs."
Industry Leaders Support Windows XP Media Center Edition
Microsoft is working closely with computer manufacturers and third parties who share a common vision for developing innovative products that offer consumers new ways to use their PC for entertainment and digital media. The development of media center PCs required strong industry collaboration with the following companies:
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) and Intel Corp. have teamed with Microsoft to help ensure that their CPUs deliver the best performance for Windows XP Media Center Edition, which included work by Intel to optimize the Intel Pentium 4 processor platform specifically for media center PCs.
Dolby Laboratories Inc. , teamed with Microsoft and Dolby decoder licensees (CyberLink, InterVideo and NVIDIA), will implement its audio technology within Windows XP Media Center Edition. The technology will be integrated with the DVD viewing experience to enable consumers to configure Dolby audio using the Media Center interface. In addition, it will provide them with the quality assurance of the Dolby brand via a logo-bearing software "faceplate" within Media Center's DVD experience.
ATI Technologies Inc. and NVIDIA Corp. , partners in the Designed for Windows XP logo program, have teamed with Microsoft to develop new DirectX® video card acceleration interfaces and enhanced their drivers and hardware to deliver improved video performance for Windows XP Media Center Edition.
CyberLink Corp. , InterVideo Inc. and NVIDIA , partners in the Designed for Windows XP logo program, have teamed with Microsoft to enhance their DVD and MPEG-2 video decoders to deliver better DVD-viewing and recorded TV experiences in Windows XP Media Center Edition. The decoders were designed to be compatible with Media Center's PVR functionality to enable smooth fast-forwarding and rewinding of recorded and "live pause" television.
Emuzed Inc. and Hauppauge Computer Works Inc. , partners in the Designed for Windows XP logo program, have teamed with Microsoft to optimize their TV capture tuner cards to deliver an enhanced TV-recording experience within Media Center.
Royal Philips Electronics has teamed with Microsoft to develop and license infrared remote control protocol technology royalty-free to manufacturers that are building media center PCs and remote control devices. The Microsoft and Philips remote control protocol is based on Philips' patented RC-6 Infra Red protocol technology and will help ensure remote control compatibility and improve the consumer experience.
Universal Electronics Inc. (UEI) has teamed with Microsoft Corp. to deliver the connectivity software that allows consumers to connect, control and interact seamlessly with their cable and satellite set-top boxes through Windows XP Media Center Edition.
"HP and Microsoft are redefining the home-entertainment experience by rolling up an entire suite of entertainment products into the new HP Media Center PC. We're creating new ways to conveniently access digital video, digital imaging, digital music and 3-D gaming -- all in one device," said Duane Zitzner, executive vice president, HP Personal Systems Group. "HP sees the emerging digital media center market as a huge growth segment and looks to drive the continued expansion of the overall digital lifestyle."
"We view Windows XP Media Center Edition as a critical aspect in providing digital freedom -- the ultimate evolution of digital convergence and seamless integration of entertainment -- to all our customers," said Dr. Daeje Chin, president and CEO, Digital Media Business, Samsung Electronics Co. "With our new Home Media Center, enabled by Windows XP Media Center Edition, Samsung will help bring families closer together by introducing a new, social way for people to enjoy digital content and services."
About Windows XP Media Center Edition
Windows XP Media Center Edition, which builds on the rich media capabilities of Windows Media Player, turns a PC into a media center that integrates digital entertainment experiences -- including live television, PVR, digital music, digital video, DVDs and pictures -- with the freedom of remote control access. A new experience called Media Center will serve as a unified destination for entertainment on the media center PC and is designed to be viewed from anywhere in the room. Windows XP Media Center Edition's dual-purpose functionality makes it ideal for digital media enthusiasts and consumers in small, space-constrained environments, such as teenagers, college students, young adults and families who want to use their PC for entertainment and digital media.
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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"ATI Technologies' graphics chips, including the latest family of RADEON 9700 and RADEON 9000 products, are the perfect solutions for Microsoft eHome graphics and video display technologies. As a critically acclaimed leader of PC multimedia solutions, ATI is proud to be a part of Microsoft's eHome success."
Director of Marketing
ATI Technologies Inc.
"As the leaders in digital video entertainment software and as developers of the award-winning PowerDVD software DVD decoder, CyberLink is proud to be a strategic partner with Microsoft on the launch of Windows XP Media Center Edition. We are confident that Windows XP Media Center Edition will provide people with new and exciting ways to utilize their PC and bring the wonders of digital media entertainment into the average household."
Alice H. Chang
"This development is both fun and innovative. Integrating the power of the PC, DVD player, TV and home audio system, all controlled by a Media Center remote, opens up a compelling new world of home digital entertainment possibilities."
Vice President of Licensing Operations
Dolby Laboratories Inc.
"Emuzed's TV Capture and Tuner card in conjunction with Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition will provide consumers with an unparalleled digital media experience by combining the entertainment of the television with the power of the PC."
Executive Vice President, Marketing and Sales
"It is a great pleasure for us to participate in this revolutionary service. Windows XP Media Center Edition is a wonderful platform, which upgrades the PC into a real multimedia center. After just a few moments of use, Windows XP users will find how convenient and exciting it is to enjoy television with Windows XP Media Center."
Jo Hwang Suh
"Combining the rich media experience of the PC with television makes Windows XP Media Center a blockbuster! With over 10 years of experience making PC-based TV receivers, Hauppauge is proud to share our expertise with Microsoft's development teams -- Windows XP Media Center will redefine what it means to watch TV!"
Hauppauge Computer Works Inc.
"Microsoft is creating a new market by combining the best of PC and entertainment technology to create a singular operating system for consumers to manage everything from Word files to music to recording television. We are pleased that Microsoft chose InterVideo to power the DVR and DVD playback because it validates the hard work and technology of our entire company. We look forward to working with Microsoft to help create the ultimate media management operating system."
Founder and CEO
"Intel is excited to work with Microsoft and PC manufacturers on this new category of extended digital entertainment experiences for the PC platform. The advanced features and power of the Intel Pentium 4 processor will enable Media Center Edition PCs to bring richer entertainment choices for television, digital photos and music anywhere within a room."
Vice President of the Desktop Platforms Group
"Windows XP Media Center brings the best of the home entertainment experience to the PC world. By combining NVIDIA's full family of graphics and multimedia processors with Windows XP Media Center, users can utilize music, photos, DVD and video collections from anywhere in the room with a single remote control."
Vice President of Marketing
"For years, consumers have been using a remote control device to control their audio/video experience. Creating a similar experience for the Windows XP Media Center is a logical step in making convergence of the computer and entertainment sectors really happen from an end-user perspective. As a leading innovator and provider of remote control devices for the traditional audio/video consumer electronics market, we are pleased to work with Microsoft leveraging our patented Infra Red protocol technology and products."
Vice President, Remote Control Systems Group
Royal Phillips Electronics
"TMS' database and ability to interface with many applications and systems makes our data highly compatible with leading-edge applications such as Windows XP, and we are pleased to be part of this innovative new product. Consumers will find that our TV listings and entertainment information provide a highly accurate tool that they can rely on to help make programming decisions."
Vice President, Entertainment Products
"We are excited to work with Microsoft on Windows XP Media Center Edition because home connectivity truly is the next frontier. For more than 15 years, UEI has been focused on simplifying the user interface for the growing complexity of devices in the home. This expertise positions us perfectly to complement Microsoft's product offerings and deliver a truly connected experience for consumers in our mutual quest to bring innovative computing technology into the home."
President and COO
Universal Electronics Inc.