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PC Magazine Guide Windows XP Media Center Edition based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
At last. Microsoft's long awaited (and long dreaded to some) big entry into consumer electronics. There have been earlier forays by Microsoft, like the XBox. But nothing to this extent. Ulick goes over Microsoft's ambitious attempt to be the focal point of home electronics. He shows how the Media Center Edition PC can, with suitable configuration, replace a bevy of devices. Like a CD play, TiVo, VHS player, DVD player and home stereo, and any attendant remote controls. One immediate criticism is that the name is poorly chosen. Ungainly. Cumbersome. Compare that to names like FireWire, WiFi, Blu-Ray. Who is actually going to say 'Media Center PC' or 'Media Center Edition'? These names look like a committee design. A little surprising, because Microsoft has shown skill in name choosing. Most obviously with 'Microsoft Windows'. So that if you say 'windows', most people now associate it with Microsoft, even though X-Windows predated it by years. As to the actual technical capabilities shown in the book, it seems competently done. Each major task is probably outdone by existing products devoted to that task. Like the playing of audio files and music CDs. Or the playing and burning of DVDs. But vendors of those products should not be complacent. Each task implemented here seems to have been done with a minimum level of functionality that might be enough for most consumers. Microsoft is gambling that the integrated convenience will outweigh any loss of little used, high end functionality. Sound familiar? This is a reprise of how Microsoft revved up its Windows in the 80s and 90s. Or perhaps more cogently, how it used the integrated aspect of its Office suite to overtake competitors offering only specific products and not a suite.