Skip to comments.Micosoft wants control of your home computer (Windows Home Server announced)
Posted on 01/08/2007 1:49:53 AM PST by HAL9000
Microsoft stepped up the digital battle for home computer networking with Apple Computer Sunday when Bill Gates announced at the Consumer Electronics show that Windows Home Server software will be available during the second half of 2007.
Gates said the new software will perform as the center of a home's computer network, from photo and video storage to television to accessing computer files when away from home.
The announcement sets up another battle for the sofware consumer with Apple. It's anticipated Apple will provide details of its iTV set-top box at MacWorld in San Francisco on Tuesday. The two companies are targeting the more than 40 percent of American homes with broadband that can deliver movies, TV, music and data from the Internet.
"A big part of connected experiences is connected entertainment," Gates said. "We think it's a category that could explode in importance."
Gates also spoke about proposals that will bring video and online services from cable TV channels Fox Sports, Nicklodeon and Starz to its 6-year-old Windows Media Center, a less ambitious software system that will be integrated into the company's Vista operating system coming to consumers at the end of January.
Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices group discussed the millions-strong community around Microsoft's online gaming service Xbox live, and plans to replicate it among users of Microsoft's Zune, an MP3 player released in November.
Bach said the Xbox 360 gaming console would be acting as a set-top box for high-quality, interactive Internet protocol television (IPTV) by the end of the year.
Gates also described some future technology possibilities, such as a teenager's bedroom with computer display and speaker built into the wall, and constantly changing posters, music, and video.
Nice form factor for the hardware, but unfortunately, it has the usual low-quality crap operating system we're accustomed to from Microsoft.
More evidence that Microsoft's hardware "partners" like Dell and HP will be treated like competitors over time. The next step for Microsoft will be manufacturing desktop and laptop PCs.
kindel.com - Windows Home Server
The cylinder is apparently a prototype of the kind of hardware design that Microsoft wants PC manufacturers to sell for the Windows Home Server. I guess it's supposed to inspire Dell and HP to make something besides the usual tower.
We use Media Center on our PC. The DVR is great. It has never crashed and we have never had a virus. The catv connets directly to the back of the pc and the 250GB drive is sufficient. It serves as our file store for our three laptops.
No complaints. We're happy Windows users.
"""No complaints. We're happy Windows users."""
Now that must be all the malware and virii on your systems speaking. Or a keyboard logger automatically sending out info. Don't you know that its impossible for Window users to be happy? At least according to good ole Hal. :-)
Why impossible!!!!! How dare a good person never go to questionable sites only to be infected and then blame it on the OS!!!
LOL! I received an iPod video for Christmas and with a little software, I can transfer all my recorded shows from Media Center to the iPod. I didn't think I would like watching shows on a 3" screen, but it is crystal clear and the sound is perfect (good for travelling). I'm hooked, just in time for the new season of 24 (I haven't seen any other seasons).
Now, as for the books on tape from the local library, guess what? The format is not compatible with the iPod. With the same software, however, I can convert the downloaded files to MPEG-4 and the iPod can read them. It seems like the iPod always needs help from Windows to make it work with the rest of the world. At least my world, which contains non iTunes content.
I've started a new game. It's called, "How many replies to a Windows thread before an iSnob tells you your system s$cks and the only educated choice is an Apple".
I'm watching the video replay of the Bill Gates speech at CES. When he get to the new server, the screen turns cloudy and this message is displayed - "In respect to the Intellectual Property being demonstrated on-stage, we are temporarily suspending the audio and video portion of the broadcast. Normal programming will begin shortly. Thank you for your patience".
You dare you deviate from the party line! Posting anti-Microsoft articles is the only way most of them can get wood.
The old "we don't need you anymore" death sentence dealt to many partners and software houses. Apple's done it too.
Totally beholden to the copyright cartel. It shows in the Zune, and it'll show in this new product to the detriment of anyone foolish enough to buy it. Either way, Microsoft isn't making anything with the consumer in mind, only trying to become a channel for the copyright cartel's profits.
Sad, I thought Microsoft would have enough clout to stand up to them. Monopoly power is like the force, it can be used for good and bad, and this would have been a good use.
The movie houses make hundreds of millions of dollars every weekend.
The entertainment industry plugs into the brains of millions of Americans every night. With the right programming, the public's perception of Microsoft here could match that of Europe.
The record industry has the US Congress passing laws tailor-made for its use, proving that money can buy anything.
Even Microsoft can't compete with that kind of clout (pant-pant).
And for what? Mindshare? Warm fuzzies from the geeks for preserving their "fair-use" rights? Is it okay to pirate some kinds of I/P, like content, but not okay to pirate other kinds of I/P, like code?
There's money to be made, mister, and lots of it.
Nope. I understand that Microsoft's muscle doesn't approach that of the copyright cartel. However, Microsoft does have a prime channel to get the cartel's content to the people in this newfangled computer thingy the cartel's heard of.
The books on tape aren't ripped as mp3s? That is strange. I haven't had any trouble loading non-iTunes content onto my iPod. And I doubt there is too much difference between what you have to do to get those same videos loaded onto the iPod compared to loading it on a Zune.
The NetLibrary's eAudiobooks are WMA and not supported by the iPod. After converting them to MP3, they can be imported into iTunes. I'm going on the instructions of the librarian. It sounds like a lot of trouble, so I'll just use my Dell Axim or Palm Lifedrive. They are seamless like your new Zune.
We use Media Center to record some TV sitcoms for the kids so that they can watch them on the computer. The plus side is that the UI for scheduling a recording is really great. The schedules are downloaded and the kids can point and click. The other packages require setting start and stop times, specifying channel numbers, and do not allow scrolling through a particular channel schedule. Kudos on that point.
There are several downsides. One is that the recording format is DVR-MS. I wanted to put a bunch of the sitcoms on a single DVD so I tried MS Movie Maker but did not like the UI.
So, I tried Adobe Premiere Elements, but it cannot read the DVR-MS format directly. I tried Sony's package, but that cannot read the DVR-MS format. I tried Roxio, but that cannot read the DVR-MS format. I tried a couple of others, all to no avail. I wanted something that could read the DVR-MS format directly instead of having to spend the time to read in the DVR-MS format and render in a second format that the other packages could read (rendering into a second format takes significant time).
Then I discovered that installing and subsequently uninstalling those packages kills MS Movie Maker. The install process records some info for MS Movie Maker which apparently is not cleaned up after the uninstall. It has to do with MS Movie Maker startup, not the uninstall of these other packages.
Eventually I found one program that had reasonable UI and could read the DVR-MS format. The experience was costly in terms of my time, and MS Movie Maker still crashes on startup.
It reminds me of a stack of petri dishes.
Like where a virus would grow.
I agree that Media Center is great for kids. My daughter set it to record a whole series (Star Trek, I think) and then when a channel had a marathon, the hard disk filled up!
It would be great be able to hook a small piece of hardware to our TV and allow us to access the shared folder from the Media Center PC. Then, we could play our recorded content in the family room. Maybe that's what the xBox 360 is. I've been tempted to buy a small PC running Media Center just for the family room!!!
Our desktop in the fam room is connected to a HP TV dual tuner that i got with an HP laptop. Since we had cable modem, I put a splitter and connected the TV tuner. The hard part was to get the right drivers for the desktop.
I had a 1-in/4-out headphone amplifier, so I connected that to the desktop as well. This way, the younger kids can watch Zac and Codey and listen on headphones while the rest of us watch the movie of our choice on the big screen TV. (BTW: the amplifier is also great for when they are playing games. We do not have to hear the audio).
I should have pointed out that Roxio does support DVR-MS format for input. The problem was that when I installed Roxio, it trashed the Media Center. The live TV display was terrible, and it installed a different UI for scheduling TV recordings that was terrible. I tried the various custom installation options, but in all cases I was not happy. So I uninstalled. After that was when MS Movie Maker started crashing, and it has never run since.
I think the program I am using is Movie Producer, but I will have to check and get back to you.
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