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Permalink to this day Monday, December 13, 2004

Yeah, I'm a month behind in finding out about this, but damn, the Teatro D1 Oncinema with a 7" 1280x720 touch screen looks really cool (and expensive at 5500 euros).

6:09:29 PM  Permalink to this item []

Yahoo - Washington Post, Microsoft's Improved Media Center Still Falls Short:
Microsoft's Media Center edition of Windows XP -- a special layer of software designed to let people enjoy their digital photos, music and videos from across the room -- has to rank as one of the company's bigger disappointments in a while. All the money Microsoft has thrown into promoting Media Center has yet to lend it any momentum in the market.

There was a lot of internal discussion about this article and here are some thoughts:

  • The reviewer either did not discover (in which case this is a serious problem for us), or did not mention a number of new features such as OTA HDTV, dual tuner, extensibility platform, improved start menu, device sync,...

  • Misses the point/idea of setting up a Media Center in the den and then an extender in the living room. This configuration would not result in you need either a large TV to read email or a chair close to your TV.
    Unless you devote a separate computer for Media Center use, you will either need an enormous (and enormously expensive) screen to make your e-mail legible from the couch, or you'll need to keep a desk chair handy for up-close use.
  • 'The biggest change in this 2005 elease is an expanded set of photo editing tools'. The biggest change is certainly not this. We only add crop to our suite of photo editing tools. To say crop is a bigger change than device sync, OTA HDTV, extender,.. is quite the statement :).
  • 'When scanning through large collections of photos, the right-arrow key doesn't move you from one row to the next, only within rows.' True, but our behavior mimics that of the Windows (2') shell.
  • 'And when you're done touching up a picture, using the back button will first present you a view of that photo before your edits.' Valid complaint.
  • 'It's far too easy to empty that [music] queue by pushing the wrong button.' Completely agreed. Unfortunately we could not solve this before shipping even though we know it was a problem.
  • MSN Music store problems. Sounds possible, but hard to diagnosis without more information.
  • ' Media Center's Web radio feature remains a joke; it only presents two, extra-cost services run by MSN and Napster'. The reviewer must have missed Live 365 (free), NPR (free), Napster, and MSN Music in Online Spotlight. Yes, we should improve their integration into the radio space.
  • 'Microsoft forgot to provide any way to edit recordings'. Did we forget or did we anticipate that the studios who we need to get along with might not like that?
  • ' Music playback was mostly reliable, but live or recorded TV varied between near-paralysis (with the screen mostly frozen) and merely annoying'. The problem the reviewer is experiencing with his Extender is that there is a double wireless hop in his network since his Media Center is connected wirelessly in addition to this Extender. This is an unsupported configuration.
While the article has some valid feedback, overall I think the reviewer did not do his homework.

(These views are my own and do not represent those of my employer).
11:38:32 AM  Permalink to this item []

© Copyright 2005 Matt Goyer.
I work at Microsoft in the eHome division on the Windows XP Media Center Edition team as a Program Manager.

Disclaimer: The posts on this weblog are provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confer no rights. The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.

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Updated: 4/11/2005; 10:30:31 PM.