If you read my blog and are a Media Center enthusiast you've no doubt read the comments attached to And It Has Media Center Extender Built In. I'm going to head up an effort here at Microsoft between the Media Center, XBox and Zune teams to give you a set of resources which help you put our products together and begin to realize the 'Connected Home' dream. It will probably start out as a whitepaper -- it *might* include things like scripts or tools -- but don't hold me to the latter. Along the way I'm almost sure we will find areas of improvement, and you have my word we will file bugs or feature requests to consider what we can do in future versions to make life better.

But first, I need your help to make sure we cover the scenarios. Here is what we have so far -- would you add any others...?

1) Standalone Windows Media Center machine.
2) Windows Media Center + XBox 360 Media Experiences.
3) Windows Media Center + XBox 360 Media Center Extender(s).
4) Windows Media Center + Windows Home Server + XBox 360 Media Center Extender(s).
5) Multiple Windows Media Center machines + Windows Home Server + XBox 360 Media Center Extender(s).
6) Zune added to any of the above.

Categories: Media Center Extender | Windows Home Server | Windows Media Center | XBox 360 | Zune | Connected Home | Comments [50] | # | Posted on Tuesday, November 6, 2007 6:08:43 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)   

Reading this question last night compelled me to make a meeting today where our Windows Media Center MVPs learned more about Windows Home Server from Charlie Kindel and another gentleman from the team (I had to cut out and go to a feature team meeting before I could get his name -- but I'll circle back). I expect those MVPs will be able to give you additional thoughts, but here is a start.

In a nutshell...

Windows Home Server: Helping families with multiple PCs connect their digital experiences, providing a familiar and reliable way to store, access, share and automatically protect what is most important. *

Windows Media Center: Helping families enjoy the digital experiences stored on the PC from the comfort of their couch or in other rooms of the house with an intuitive and easy to use interface. **

In other words, two separate products with goals that are highly complementary to each other. Based on what little I saw today they will each benefit *immediately* once Windows Home Server ships. Longer term, I believe we will see the two product teams collaborating more -- perhaps even creating features unique to the intersection of Windows Media Center + Windows Home Server. After the presentation today I'm definitely going to replace my Windows Server 2003 box here at home with a Windows Home Server and start playing around to find the synergies and goodness.

* This came from an excellent post by Charlie: Why Doesn't Windows Home Server do foo? Go there to learn more about their vision and goals -- it's also a good post on feature development work in general.

** I made this up to kinda, sorta match up with the Windows Home Server mission statement for contrast. It's not 'official' marketing blurb -- but is a pretty good description of the Windows Media Center goal.

Categories: Windows Home Server | Windows Media Center | Comments [4] | # | Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 4:54:39 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)   
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