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Microsoft and Partners Expand Digital Entertainment Offerings

12 Oct, 2004 By: Kurt Indvik

Microsoft is promising a “new era” in digital entertainment with a host of new products the software giant and a swarm of hardware partners announced today. Bill Gates chose Los Angeles, home to the entertainment capital of the world, to introduce Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) 2005 and other products that will let consumers control and distribute digital music and video files from their PCs to a variety of in-home and mobile devices.

Also announced in some 20 additional countries was a robust Windows Media Player 10 (debuted Sept. 2 in the United States), designed to make it faster and easier to manage content and capture content online. The software player includes a Digital Media Mall which includes access to online digital content from MSN Music, F.Y.E. For Your Entertainment, and other audio and video sources.

Meanwhile, a bevy of major consumer electronics hardware partners announced a myriad of new products that support MCE 2005 and Media Player 10. Device manufacturers announcing new products from portable players to smartphones to home networking devices included Creative, Dell, Gateway, HP , Samsung, Audiovox/AT&T Wireless, Linksys among others.

To make it simple for consumers to pick which hardware and software works with the new MCE and Player 10 programs, Microsoft and its partners have launched the “PlayForSure” logo which will appear on all tested and compatible products.

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