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Gates outlines Microsoft’s Digital Media Strategy at CES

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 05 Jan 2005 22:54 User comments (1)

Gates outlines Microsoft’s Digital Media Strategy at CES At the Consumer Electronics Show, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates spoke about some of Microsoft's upcoming efforts to continue to make it "easier to unite digital experiences". Firstly he touted the deal with TiVo in its new TiVoToGo effort which will allow owners of recent-vintage TiVo boxes to transfer programs to a Windows XP PC, from which the programs can in turn be shuttled to Microsoft-powered portable devices, such as Portable Media Center video gadgets and Smartphone mobile phones. Assisted by talk show host Conan O'Brien, Gates continued. "If you look at today's living room, you have five remote controls and you still can't get your music where you want it," Gates said.
Unfortunately for Microsoft the presentation was struck by several technical difficulties including a Windows XP Media Center slide show that couldn't be launched and an Xbox game demonstration that abruptly ended with a blue-screen memory error. "Right now, nine people are being fired," O'Brien joked. "Who's in charge of Microsoft?". TiVo has been challenged lately by new services that record television programming and Microsoft has seen very slow acceptance of its television-recording capabilities built into Windows XP Media Center. Gates hailed the ability to easily move TiVo content to portable gadgets as emblematic of Microsoft's push to let consumers experience their digital media anywhere they want it. "We're really seeing the portable video message move into the mainstream," he said.

Gates said that PC makers have sold about 1.4 million Media Center models so far, which is steady growth since last year. Microsoft also announced several new broadcast partners providing expanded program listings for Media Center PCs, including the Discovery Channel. Gates showed off the first plasma screen television--from home entertainment specialist DigiTrex--to support Windows Media Connect. He also touted a new combination DVD player and digital video recorder from LG Electronics that connects with both regular Windows XP and specialized Windows XP Media Center PCs. He also touted growing support for Microsoft's Smartphone software for TV set-top boxes and revealed a new partnership with MTV networks.

Gates kept relatively quiet on the gaming side, but did state that 6.3 million copies of the XBOX game Halo 2 have been sold, and the game accounts for 69 million hours of game playing on Microsoft's Xbox Live online gaming service. "These are the successes we'll build on as gaming moves into the next generation of hardware," Gates said. More incremental progress was reported for Microsoft's "Plays for sure" campaign to label portable audio players as Windows-friendly. Gates said 50 devices and eight music download services now support the program, which launched last summer.


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1 user comment

16.1.2005 23:09

I'm glad BG's presentation got screwed up. He just keeps trying to monopolize everything, making a closed area for anybody who isn't Micro$oft. I really doubt that Discovery Channel and MTV are going to win anybody over. I hardly know anybody who enjoys the DC, and nobody who likes MTV. I believe they will be greatly disappointed in what they expect to happen with all this. If you read an interview on Cnet, he talks about things that are obvious twisting of words. "If someone installs FireFox, IE is still on the computer." You know what? Thats because you can't get rid of it no matter how hard you try! Like Windows Media Player!! The only reason Halo 2 sold so well was because many people thought it would be more than just a few quick levels with not really much added to it. Their excuse for the next Halo being part of this one is that "the game was too big for one disc." Bullshit. The whole game fit on one single layer DVD if you take out the game demo movie. They could have easily made a whole game, its just another way to get double what you should be paying out of you. They have so many hours clocked on Xbox Live because everybody beat the game so quickly that they had to do more with it, and also because they couldn't do it with the previous installment. Well thats my take on this whole article+ I get like this at 4am...

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