Every once in a while a journalist, blogger or analyst will publish an article that crawls under my skin. I've grown weary of hearing how much Microsoft is missing the mark. This commentary seems to have reached a fever pitch in regards to our showing at CES 2011.

Mary Jo Foley in CES: What Microsoft's Ballmer didn't say

“This isn’t a typical keynote write-up. Usually, covering a keynote, I write about what executives say or announce. At the kick-off Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2011 keynote by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on January 5, the more interesting bits were what Ballmer didn’t say.”

Nick Eaton in Microsoft at CES: Not much new to talk about

“After juicy rumors gurgled online for days leading up to the event, Microsoft today gave techies little to chew on as they prepared for a weekend of gadgets and nerdery in Las Vegas.”

Jessica Mintz in Microsoft's answer to the iPad is still in pieces

“Instead of unveiling an elegant response to the iPad, Microsoft came to the tech industry's premier gadget show with a collection of exposed computer guts.”

I tweeted my gut response to the Mintz piece and my friend Ed Bott summed it up better than I ever could…

"Oh, man, that is one of the stupidest things I've read all week, in a week filled with stupid."

There seems to be a lack of objectivity at the moment for some reason. As best I can tell, these three articles (and many others not cited here) have some underlying foundations or assumptions which are questionable…

  • The real story is in the things Microsoft does not pick to highlight at the moment.
  • Anything less than a Microsoft branded competitor to anything Apple or Google announces or ships is considered failure.
  • The author lacks an understanding of how Microsoft has intentionally chosen to have a business relationship with partners.

So, how is Microsoft really doing?

I thought I would take a moment share my personal thoughts and key takeaways in response to the CES 2011 Microsoft keynote (video and transcript) taken in the order in which they were presented.

Living Room

Competitors

Microsoft XBox
Sony PlayStation
Nintendo Wii
Apple Apple TV
Set Top Boxes (Blu-ray / Cable / Satellite / TiVO / Google TV)

Facts

  • "...30 million Xbox LIVE members."
  • "...a new member joins Xbox LIVE every two seconds."
  • "Xbox 360 has been the No. 1 selling console every month for the last six months here in the United States."
  • "...sales for the Xbox 360 are now over 50 million units worldwide."
  • "In the first 60 days we sold over 8 million Kinect sensors worldwide."

Key Message

"Your Xbox is becoming the hub of your living room. It is your gaming system, but it's your movie, it's your TV experience, it's a TV show, and it's your sporting event. It's your social interaction all delivered directly to the biggest screen in the house."

My Commentary

Do some quick back-of-the-napkin math around the ecosystem for Microsoft alone (XBox Live memberships, games, consoles and peripherals like Kinect) and you'll quickly find this is a billion dollar plus business and growing. The XBox is becoming an entertainment console, more than just a gaming console, building on the strength of our partnerships with movies, TV, music and sports.

By comparison, Apple is a rounding error in this market with Apple TV. Sales have likely come through the magical and revolutionary price point of $99 to achieve sales of 1 million devices in 2010. It’s really too early to tell about Google TV but the initial reviews aren’t promising. Set top boxes are low powered, commodity items locked in to vertical market silos. I don’t hear much excitement about the non-gaming features of the PlayStation or Wii so they might be stagnating into the one trick ponies of gaming.

Rhetorical Questions

  • What does Apple have to offer consumers in the living room besides Apple TV, or what are they going to do to make Apple TV compelling and competitive?
  • There has been a long line of ‘make the TV smarter' initiatives from scores of companies over the years (including Microsoft). Is Google truly bringing anything new to this space with Google TV or is it an ‘also ran’?

Mobile

Competitors

Microsoft (Windows Phone 7) + Partners
Apple (iPhone)
Google (Android) + Partners

Facts

  • "We launched 9 phones across 60 mobile operators in 30 countries."
  • "...we'll finish the release that will make the Windows Phone available on the Sprint and Verizon networks in the first half of 2011."

Key Message

"We're proud of what the customers are saying about Windows Phone 7, and we're going to continue to invest in it aggressively in the future."

My Commentary

Journalists and analysts have continued to focus on how much market share we lost when the momentum for the smartphone market shifted from enterprise to consumer. That's old news...! It would be great to turn a corner and have a conversation about the future rather than rehashing the past.

Windows Phone 7 is a version 1 product for Microsoft. By comparison the iPhone v1 was 1 phone across 4 mobile operators in 6 countries. Apple is just now addressing non-AT&T networks here in the United States with the fourth generation iPhone. Microsoft announced on day one Windows Phone 7 will be available on Sprint, Verizon and AT&T. Net: I believe Microsoft has demonstrated a strong entry into this market. Watch out Apple -- we compete more effectively when coming from behind -- reference the rise of the XBox in the gaming console market. Note Microsoft is also bringing the success of social gaming in the living room to the mobile space with XBox Live -- an area where Apple currently has no comparable offering.

Rhetorical Questions

  • Can Apple or Google continue to hold their positions in mobile experience with competitive offerings from others and their respective partners given the relatively short refresh cycle (2 years) of opportunities for consumers to choose something different?
  • Will the Google model of OS customization by each handset maker hold up in the long term?

Personal Computer (Desktop, Laptop, Tablet)

Competitors

Microsoft (Windows) + Partners
Apple (Mac and iPad)
Google (Android / Chrome) + Partners

Facts

  • "Windows 7 PCs are the fastest selling PCs in history, selling over 7 copies a second, they now represent more than 20 percent of all the PCs connected to the Internet."
  • "We shipped a new release of Windows Live to over 500 million people around the world."

Key Messages

  • "Windows has always been, and will continue to be, about the breadth of hardware and software applications..."
  • "…define and deliver this next generation of devices to customers through the innovation of our partners."
  • "...Windows PCs will continue to adapt and evolve."

My Commentary

Quite frankly, I’m not sure Mr. Ballmer could have been any clearer about the business model for Microsoft in this space: Breadth, partners, adapt and evolve. Journalists need to understand this at a fundamental level when writing about product announcements and responses to the competitive landscape.

The only way for Apple to radically change the personal computer market and displace Microsoft + partners is for tablets to take significant market share from other form factors (desktop and laptop) in a very short period of time. If we include iPad sales when measuring market share Apple is still relatively low on the worldwide personal computer market share looking at the most recent numbers from Q3 2010. To get an idea of position I took Apple sales figures and combined them with IDC estimates…

Manufacturer Units Market Share
HP 15,766,000 16.8%
Acer 11,648,000 12.4%
Dell 11,136,000 11.9%
Lenovo 9,213,000 9.8%
Apple 8,080,000 8.6%
Asus 4,793,000 5.1%
Toshiba 4,659,000 5.0%
Others 28,566,000 30.4%
Total 93,861,000 100.0%

Without a doubt, the iPad has been a success for Apple. If you exclude iPad sales numbers for the quarter (4.19 million) they are somewhere below Toshiba in market share. That’s a nice jump of more than doubling their personal computer volume. It will be interesting to see what Q4 and beyond looks like but my prediction is Apple will begin to flatten out rather than skyrocket in taking market share if the price point for the iPad v2 stays consistent (i.e., $499+).

There are some who will argue the tablet represents a whole new market segment. From my personal use of the iPad: It's not a laptop replacement...and in order for a tablet to be successful in the long term it must become a laptop replacement. The wild card here is the price of the iPad: Can (will) Apple get it low enough to appeal to the mainstream consumer so it’s an additive rather than replacement purchase?

Don’t get me wrong. I believe tablets will be important in the long term. It’s just very, very early in a never ending game.

Rhetorical Questions

  • Will the tablet factor become the dominant form of computing in the next few years?
  • If so, is the rise of the tablet in the mix of personal computers linear or exponential in growth? (Note: Exponential favors challenger, linear favors incumbent.)
  • Does the tablet play by a different set of refresh cycle rules in comparison to the other form factors of desktop and laptop?

One more thing...

Apple and Steve Jobs is rather famous for the ‘one more thing’ presentation style. The Microsoft CES 2011 keynote has it’s equivalent – usually peppered throughout rather than being at the end. This year was no different so it’s worth noting there were items mentioned in the keynote which are important from a consumer standpoint. These are areas where we are making progress or our competitors are either weaker or non-existent.

  • Office 2010, Office Web (Consumer), Office 365 (Corporate), Office on Windows Phone. (Although not mentioned in the keynote: Office for Mac.) This is a great example of where Microsoft has continued to ‘adapt and evolve’.
  • Bing – It continues to nibble (if ever so slightly) away at Google market share. Apple offers third party web search engines in all of its products as far as I can tell -- their closest match as a revenue generator being iAd.
  • Azure Services -- I guess we could theoretically count Mobile Me here if we really want to stretch the definition of a category. Google is making some inroads here but also has to compete with folks like Amazon Web Services.
  • Surface -- People make jokes about Surface as the typical Microsoft answer to iPad. It's cool to see us innovating here...and some of these things are directly applicable to things like tablets. Apple has touch with up to three fingers -- Microsoft is looking at stuff that makes interacting with devices an extension of your body and voice with natural user interface -- the first output of these investments are products like Kinect and Surface.

Summary

I’ve put together a simple table (alphabetical by company name) which helps us see the competitors for each area and their strategic bets. I believe it’s important to note the growing overlap – e.g., XBox Live present in the living room and mobile.

Company Living Room Mobile Personal Computer
Apple Apple TV iPhone Mac and iPad
Google Google TV Android + Partners Chrome / Android + Partners
Microsoft XBox Windows Phone 7 + Partners Windows + Partners

So, I’ll ask a final rhetorical question…

Who is currently best positioned to lead across all three areas over the long term?



Categories: Apple | AppleTV | CES | Home Theater | Microsoft | XBox 360 | iPad | Google | Comments [11] | # | Posted on Wednesday, January 12, 2011 12:33:13 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)   

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)   

I can't believe Chris posted the press release but didn't go nuts around the fact the new XBox 360 Arcade has the same great Media Center Extender built in as all of its predecessors. I was happily surprised to note these have HDMI on board -- there is a LOT of bang for buck this Christmas in this new arcade SKU for consumers. Kudos to the XBox team for making it happen!



Categories: Media Center Extender | Windows Media Center | XBox 360 | Comments [65] | # | Posted on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 9:28:34 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)   

Just got this in the email. That Limited Edition Halo 3 Zune and packaging are pretty sweet...!

More details on the game here: http://www.halo3.com/



Categories: Halo | XBox 360 | Comments [1] | # | Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 5:55:38 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)   

In an email conversation with Seth Jayson (see this post) he mentioned one of the 'flies in the ointment' of the XBox 360 media capabilities (including Media Center Extender) compared to the announced Apple iTV was the 'sometimes loud fan in the XBox'.

I've been using the XBox 360 Media Center Extender for a couple of months now and the fan noise has never seemed overbearing to me or my family. I can see where an audiophile who wants absolute silence would not be overjoyed by the fan noise, but then again those folks will spend a lot more than $299 to fuel their quest for sonic perfection.

Curious, I borrowed a decibel meter this evening to see how loud the XBox 360 fans would become during normal use of the XBox 360 as a Media Center Extender. Unfortunately, the lowest measurement of the unit was 50db, making it less than ideal to measure the sound generated at a reasonable, normal distance from the unit (like 10'). According to this Wikipedia entry 50db is the equivalent of a 'quiet restaurant inside'.

Still, I thought the test would be interesting -- so I launched the Media Center Extender on the XBox 360 and kicked off a high definition recorded TV show (Law & Order, a favorite) and let it play for 30 minutes before taking measurements.

Anyone care to guess how close to the XBox 360 and where I had to put the meter to get it to register a continuous 50db...?

I guess you could say this is the audio equivalent of guessing how many M&Ms are in the jar. :-) Leave a comment with your guess.

Meanwhile, I'm going to track down a more sensitive decibel meter.



Categories: Media Center | Media Center Extender | XBox 360 | Comments [31] | # | Posted on Tuesday, September 19, 2006 5:19:50 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)   

There is a good thread over at Joystiq.com in Digital lifestyle from a dumb terminal? Not likely. (Xbox 360 annoyance #007). I took a moment to post a comment over there to hopefully clear the air about why things are the way they are -- it's all about consumer choice and market forces (of which a P&L statement is a part, but certainly not the whole). Microsoft is (an many ways) a conglomeration of smaller companies, which is sometimes why we don't approach the market with a singular product (we have Notepad, Word Pad and Word, all of which would allow me to type and print a letter to grandma). My comments start at number 37.



Categories: Media Center | XBox 360 | Comments [11] | # | Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2005 3:41:16 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)   

There have been quite a few interesting posts and articles on the web regarding Media Center Extender feature of the XBox 360 (see CNet, Slashdot, CVG and GA Forum for a sampling).  I have decided to port this FAQ to it's own post and will update regularly to help clear up some of the confusion. Put any additional questions you might have in the comments and I will track down the answer.

1) Does every XBox 360 come with the Media Center Extender software built in?

Yes.

2) How does that work with the XBox 360 Core System which doesn't have a hard drive?

The Media Center Extender software for XBox 360 is sent over the wire each time you launch Media Center on the XBox 360.

3) If you are sending the bits over the wire each time, doesn't the MCX boot time really suffer?

Not enough for most folks to notice. We have spent a lot of time optimizing the code sent over the wire to make sure it's fast.

4) Is the Media Center Extender software cached on the XBox 360 hard drive, if present?

Yes.

5) Is the Media Center user interface on XBox 360 the same GDI version (sans animations) as the version 1 Media Center Extenders?

No. We ported the Media Center renderer over to the XBox 360 so the Media Center user interface renders in full fidelity on the XBox 360 just as it does on the Media Center PC itself. For the most part, consumers won't be able to tell a difference between the two.

6) Will high definition content play on the XBox 360, and if so, what formats?

Yes, high definition content will play on the XBox 360 via the Media Center user interface using the DVR-MS (Recorded TV) and WMV format (up to 1080p). This will include high definition digital cable content using the recently announced CableCard module. It will decode and display 1080p WMVHD using any output, including 480i/480p/720p/1080i over component.  It will also output up to 1366x768 over VGA.

7) Will Online Spotlight experiences (and those available via Marketplace or other third parties for Media Center) work on the XBox 360 Media Center Extender?

Yes.

8) Can I create my own apps to run in Media Center Extender for XBox 360.

Yes, using the Media Center SDK located at http://msdn.microsoft.com/mce.

9) Do applications in Media Center run on the XBox 360 or on the Media Center PC?

Applications run on the Media Center PC and have their UI remoted to the XBox 360 via technology similar to a Remote Desktop Connection / Terminal Server. No code from the application actually runs on the XBox 360, therefore the XBox 360 is safe and secure from a malware / virus perspective.

10) Is the audio / video content sent over the same remote desktop like session?

No. Audio and video streams are sent out of band and decoded locally on the XBox 360.

11) Is the XBox 360 as loud as my old XBox when running Media Center Extender?

No. In fact, when running the Media Center Extender software, it's virtually silent with the fans at their lowest setting. From my experience, it's quieter than the VCR in my kids playroom when running MCX.

12) Will the XBox360 will have other codecs available for it (e.g. Xvid, Divx).

Yes and no. The Media Center Extender for XBox 360 can support uncompressed PCM audio when a custom DirectShow filter is installed and registered, meaning you can use [insert audio codec name here] as long as it uses this approach. See Registering a Custom File Type for more information. Video codecs natively on the XBox 360 are currently limited to MPEG1, MPEG2, DVR-MS and WMV.

[The custom DirectShow filter solution works for audio since the PCM audio is uncompressed, but still within limits of typical network bandwidth. Any video solution using the same approach would involve real time transcoding (seriously CPU intensive) or sending uncompressed video over the wire (net bandwidth becomes an issue). Just FYI.]

13) If the Media Center Extender software is sent to the XBox 360 each time you launch the Media Center, does that mean that the XBox 360 will automagically inherit the new Vista MCE interface when used with a Vista MCE?

The plans for Media Center Extender for XBox 360 in the Windows Vista timeframe haven't yet been announced. [Sort of a lame answer, I know -- sorry -- there are some things they won't let me talk about yet.]

14) Will my first generation Media Center Extender (hardware or XBox MCX) continue to work when I use the new Media Center Extender for XBox 360?

Yes

15) Can you fast-forward and rewind music stored on the host MCE computer using the Xbox 360 Extender.

No

16) Can you play back AVI files in Media Center Extender for XBox 360?

No

17) Will the Xbox 360 be able to play DRM-protected video that has been recorded on your Media Center PC?

Yes, as long as the DRM applied or specified by the content owner allows (which is the case for the vast majority of all content today).

18) Can you rip music CDs to the host MCE computer from the Xbox 360 Media Center Extender?

No. However, you can rip music CDs to the XBox 360 hard drive, if present, using the XBox 360 music feature on the Media blade.

19) Does Media Center Extender for XBox 360 support keyboards and mice?

Not at this time.

20) Do I have to insert a Media Center Extender game title like for my XBox?

No. You can keep a game title in the drive while using the Media Center Extender functionality.

21) Do I need a Media Center PC to use Media Center Extender on XBox 360?

Yes.

22) Can I get to other digital media content on XBox 360 without a Media Center PC?

Yes. XBox 360 has several built in digital media features accessible from the Media blade: Music, Pictures and Videos. Music can be locally ripped music (see Question 18) or music streamed from any Windows XP computer using Windows Media Connect. Pictures can be streamed from any Windows XP computer using Windows Media Connect. Videos are downloadable from XBox Live and can be cached locally on the XBox 360 hard drive (if present).

23) Will WMVHD discs play on the XBox 360?

No. These discs are designed to play on Windows XP machines. See http://www.wmvhd.com/ for system requirements to play these titles.



Categories: Media Center | Media Center Extender | XBox 360 | Comments [10] | # | Posted on Friday, December 2, 2005 7:17:17 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)   

[Note: I've moved this FAQ to XBox 360, Media Center Extender and Media Center PC FAQ. Any updates will now occur in that post.]

I've just arrived back from a partner roadshow late this past Saturday (we presented in Redmond, Los Angeles and New York). I really enjoyed some quotes today which were echoes of what we presented to partners last week.

Chris Anderson in First Take: XBox 360 Media Center Extender

"What's important about the Media Center is that it takes the DVR concept and extends it to all forms of content, whether broadcast or downloaded from the Web. By having a broadband-connected PC at its core, it's by nature a full-featured connected device that can keep up with the pace of innovation in digital media online. If the Xbox 360 and the new content marketplaces of its associated Xbox Live service continue to take off, we really could have the beginnings of a Long Tail platform that could challenge broadcast TV."

Russell Beattie in XBox 360 As A Windows Media Center Extension: Context is King

"The most amazing thing about this is how it controls context. Your PC remains a PC, your Video Game Console remains just that, but when they’re put together, a third functionality emerges to help manage all your media. Maybe that can be seen as complexity (one box with a simplified interface might be better), but to me it seems like a pretty neat Trojan Horse for Microsoft’s vision of the digital home."

A couple of FAQ from the partner roadshow which are appropriate to air broadly here...

Q: Does every XBox 360 come with the Media Center Extender software built in?

A: Yes.

Q: How does that work with the XBox 360 Core System which doesn't have a hard drive?

A: The Media Center Extender software for XBox 360 is sent over the wire each time you launch Media Center on the XBox 360.

Q: If you are sending the bits over the wire each time, doesn't the MCX boot time really suffer?

A: Not enough for most folks to notice. We have spent a lot of time optimizing the code sent over the wire to make sure it's fast.

Q: Is the Media Center Extender software cached on the XBox 360 hard drive, if present?

A: Yes.

Q: Is the Media Center user interface on XBox 360 the same GDI version (sans animations) as the version 1 Media Center Extenders?

No. We ported the Media Center renderer over to the XBox 360 so the Media Center user interface renders in full fidelity on the XBox 360 just as it does on the Media Center PC itself. For the most part, consumers won't be able to tell a difference between the two.

Q: Will high definition content play on the XBox 360, and if so, what formats?

A: Yes, high definition content will play on the XBox 360 via the Media Center user interface using the DVR-MS (Recorded TV) and WMV format (up to 1080p). This includes high definition digital cable content using the recently announced CableCard module.

Q: Will Online Spotlight experiences (and those available via Marketplace or other third parties) work on the XBox 360 Media Center Extender?

A: Yes.

Q: Is the XBox 360 as loud as my old XBox?

A: No. In fact, when running the Media Center Extender software, it's virtually silent with the fans at their lowest setting. From my experience, it's quieter than the VCR in my kids playroom when running MCX.

Q: Will the XBox360 will have other codecs available for it (e.g. Xvid, Divx).

A: Yes and no. The Media Center Extender for XBox 360 can support PCM audio when a custom DirectShow filter is installed and registered, meaning you can use [insert audio codec name here] as long as it uses this approach. See Registering a Custom File Type for more information. Video codecs natively on the XBox 360 are currently limited to MPEG1, MPEG2, DVR-MS and WMV.

Q: If the Media Center Extender software is sent to the XBox 360 each time you launch the Media Center, does that mean that the XBox 360 will automagically inherit the new Vista MCE interface when used with a Vista MCE?

A: The plans for Media Center Extender for XBox 360 in the Windows Vista timeframe haven't yet been announced. [Sort of a lame answer, I know -- sorry -- there are some things they won't let me talk about yet.]

Q: Will my first generation Media Center Extender (hardware or XBox MCX) continue to work when I use the new Media Center Extender for XBox 360?

A: Yes

Q: Can you fast-forward and rewind music stored on the host MCE computer using the Xbox 360 Extender.

A: No

Q: Can you play back AVI files?

No

If you have any other questions, leave 'em here and I will track down the answer and update this post.



Categories: Media Center | XBox 360 | Comments [10] | # | Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 5:51:19 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)   

Michael Bohlin, a Microsoft Business Development Manager over in Sweden working with Online Spotlight partners sent this to a bunch of people this morning. I thought is was pretty cool and asked if I could reproduce here. Michael said yes. Enjoy!

---

A day in a traveller’s life:

I start the morning by unplugging my portable device (PMC, SmartPhone, DAP..) from my Windows XP Media Center computer on my way to the airport. While waiting for the gate to open I sit down and I watch the latest news broadcast and parts of yesterday evening episode of Lost. When on the plane and the seatbelt signs has been turned off I go to my music library and select the latest technology update from CNET before I tune in to some soft music  and enjoy the flight.

When arriving at the hotel I log-in to my remote TV service and schedule what I want to record this evening and for the upcoming days. I go to work and when I get back in the evening I log-in to my remote service and stream the recorded TV show over a secure line and the last thing I do before I go to bed is listening to some music and watching some family photos from the same remote service.

How?

  1. I schedule everything I want to record as usual on my Media Center PC.
  2. I install a podcast application like iPodderX and have it pull the latest from CNET and put it in My Music library under podcasts (this way it will always be available and synched).
  3. I create an account at TvOnTime which enables me to remote which recordings I want to have on my Media Center PC.
  4. I create an account at Orb Networks which exposes my shared media folders to my account when logged in (not uploaded only listings). When I log-in to orb.com I can choose any content available on my Media Center PC and have it streamed over https (it generates an asx-file) to my laptop wherever I am in the world assuming that I have decent bandwidth available >300kbps (it will adjust, but 400 gives a good TV image). 

This is nothing futuristic! Try it today!

In the near future with Xbox360 and TV’s you will be able to access all media in-house no matter where it is stored. Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) which has been driven by DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance (which Microsoft is contributor to) has starting to see daylight. UPnP will give us non routable access to our in-house devices. This means that you today would be able to walk up to a speaker and select what music you want to listen to without knowing where it comes from except that it is either an internet service you have or it is stored somewhere in-house on your Set-top box, Xbox360, DVD Recorder, TV, PC, Media Center PC, etc.

Did you know that if you connect a portable music player which has the “Plays For Sure” logo like iRiver, Creative, Samsung Rio etc. (www.playsforsure.com) they will be able to play through your Xbox360 to the TV speakers or whatever you have it hooked up to. It can also of course synchronize with music library that you might have on the Xbox360 already. MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) is a technology that is royalty free that anyone who wants to be able to synch audio, video, tv, photos etc. between itself and portable devices can download and implement no matter what OS.

This is nothing futuristic! Try it today!

Philips TV’s does today come in versions called “Connected Planet” which accesses all your PC’s in-house.

Goal

Any piece of content that comes into the household should be able to be played out anywhere in the household and depending on the rules that applies to the copyright etc. you might be able to synch it to a portable device. Notice that we are not trying to move things around the house; we focus on playing it out remotely to whatever device you’re using.

A Possible Future?

  • It won’t be long before making digital backup copies of DVD’s to your hard drive is a legal reality.
  • It won’t be long before we will be able to buy full DVD movies over the web.
  • It won’t be long before operators can manage WindowsCE based Set-top boxes with Microsoft Operations Manager.
  • It won’t be long before Windows Vista will be the premium place to manage digital media content on huge storage devices in your house.

May the streams be with you!



Categories: Media Center | XBox 360 | Comments [2] | # | Posted on Friday, October 21, 2005 9:11:49 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)   

Scoble and the Channel9 team have a great interview up: Jeff Henshaw and David Alles - Xbox 360 and Media Center: Living room of the future.  XBox 360 + Media Center is going to be huge (especially for developers).



Categories: Media Center | XBox 360 | Comments [1] | # | Posted on Saturday, October 15, 2005 6:55:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)   

Casey Chestnut says 'what i want to know is how does MCE get its interface over to the XBox?'

This is a laymans answer: We ported the Media Center rendering engine to the XBox 360.  Instead of using a Remote Desktop / Terminal Server paradigm like we did with MCX v1 we send all of the 'stuff' which defines the UI over the wire to be parsed on the XBox 360.  All of the logic (i.e., managed code) stuff stays on the PC. Content (audio and video) is sent out of band and decoded locally on the XBox 360 as well.



Categories: Media Center | XBox 360 | Comments [1] | # | Posted on Friday, October 14, 2005 6:45:46 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)   

We are showing an XBox360 running Media Center Extender today as part of my presentation PRS322 Windows Vista Media Center: Developing for the 10 Foot Interface.  We also talk about the new developer features coming to Media Center in the Windows Vista timeframe.



Categories: Media Center | PDC05 | XBox 360 | Comments [0] | # | Posted on Thursday, September 15, 2005 5:13:56 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)   

Our Media Center presentation at Professional Developers Conference keeps getting better and better...

I will demonstrating XBox360 + Media Center Extender at my presentation on September 15.  The Meet Me At Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2005 and Win A Media Center Keyboard has more details on place and time.



Categories: Media Center | PDC05 | XBox 360 | Comments [1] | # | Posted on Thursday, September 8, 2005 6:14:24 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)   
RSS
RSS 2.0
Search
Sign In | All Content © 2014 Charlie Owen

This is a personal weblog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer.


Powered by newtelligence dasBlog 2.3.9074.18820