Some see Microsoft as the big bad corp that stifles the truly innovative Internet/ computer companies. As a small band of Mac users, RealScreen sympathizes with this viewpoint. Yet, we must give Microsoft props for doggedly pursuing convergence.
Despite evidence that consumers aren’t eagerly awaiting the coming of one device for all media – single-purpose machines are easier to use – Microsoft unveiled the new version of Windows XP Media Center in October. The software, when paired with Media Center-ready PCs, allows users to organize photographs, listen to music, watch and record movies and tv programs, and also playback as well as burn DVDs – all through one consul. More specifically, early convergence converts can watch, pause and record up to three live TV shows from analog, cable or digi/sat feeds with playback possible in HD. And, Extender devices give people the option of routing these entertainment options to their TV.
Microsoft claims Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 forms the core of its vision for ‘Digital Entertainment Anywhere,’ and estimates that Media Center PCs will comprise 10% to 15% of the market in only a few years. It’s a lofty goal considering that only 550,000 of them are expected to be sold in 2004. But, somebody has to build the machines through which producers can realize their wildest interactive dreams. To that end, RealScreen says, ‘You go, Microsoft. Just don’t trample my Mac on the way.’