Microsoft Joins Mobile DTV Alliance to Help Accelerate DVB-H Deployment in North America


Microsoft Announces Participation in Mobile DTV Alliance to Help Accelerate DVB-H Deployment in North America | Microsoft Corp. today announced its participation as a founding member of the Mobile DTV Alliance, a new organization created to promote the growth and evolution of the open standard for broadcast digital TV on mobile devices, Digital Video Broadcasting-Handheld (DVB-H). Microsoft joins a distinguished group of mobile industry leaders including Intel Corporation, Modeo LLC, Motorola Inc., Nokia and Texas Instruments Inc. (TI). As part of the Mobile DTV Alliance, Microsoft will help promote DVB-H best practices for delivery of premium-quality broadcast media to mobile devices for the North American market.

“Demand for over-the-air delivery of digital entertainment to mobile devices is driving the need for broadly supported mobile broadcast technologies like DVB-H,” said Pat Griffis, senior director of Windows Digital Media at Microsoft and Microsoft’s board member in the alliance. “By combining our respective industry expertise, Microsoft and fellow founding members of the Mobile DTV Alliance will help make DVB-H-powered mobile TV a reality for consumers.”

“Microsoft joined at the formation of the alliance, rounding out our participation at every level of the wireless ecosystem. We are pleased to be able to announce its participation as a founding member,” said Yoram Solomon, president of the Mobile DTV Alliance and director of strategic marketing and industry relations for the Mobile Connectivity Solutions business at TI. “The Mobile DTV Alliance provides an open ecosystem for the mobile digital TV marketplace, greatly increasing revenue opportunities, innovation and services to consumers.”

DVB-H technologies enable consumers to receive live TV-like experiences directly on their mobile handset and other DVB-H-based devices. In addition, operators will benefit from increased revenue opportunities while preserving cellular network bandwidth for voice and other data services.

“Microsoft’s participation in the Mobile DTV Alliance as a founding member will accelerate the introduction of mobile digital television based on DVB-H into cell phones, PDAs, laptops and portable media players,” said Michael Schueppert, president of Modeo.

Mobile-optimized Microsoft Windows Media technologies from Microsoft — such as Windows Media Audio Professional, Windows Media Digital Rights Management (DRM) and Windows Media Video (Microsoft’s implementation of VC-1) — have already been successfully deployed for use in mobile broadcast solutions, including Modeo’s pilot of its DVB-H mobile broadcast network last year. By participating in the Mobile DTV Alliance, Microsoft will collaborate with industry leaders on best practices both with handsets and services, further advancing Windows Media-enabled solutions for DVB-H and helping deliver comprehensive video broadcast offerings for mobile operators.

Additional information about the Mobile DTV Alliance can be found at http://www.mdtvalliance.org.



var dc_UnitID = 14;
var dc_PublisherID = 11967;
var dc_AdLinkColor = ‘6699cc';
var dc_adprod=’ADL';


Media Center Available via Retail Channel! Who Cares?


Windows Media Center Available via Retail Channel | Charlie Owen points out that with the official Windows Vista Product Lineup that you will finally be able to buy Media Center in a retail market.  Charlie says “Windows Media Center is coming to a store shelf near you”, but will it even matter?

Jim Allchin says that PC’s using CableCARD will have to be submitted and tested through CableLabs.  So, a retail version of Media Center doesn’t get you CableCARD if Jim is correct.  ATI and AnandTech have pointed the other way, saying “The PC is not certified by CableLabs in any way, instead MS publishes a minimum system configuration and the system has to meet these specs in order to be sold with the OCUR device.”  Details on the DirecTV deal have yet to be seen.

I already covered HD DVD/Blu-ray hardware, and today I’ll add some information about why PCI Express with  PVP-UAB in Vista will most likely be needed.   AACS says “Within a Licensed Product, the video portion of Decrypted AACS Content shall not be present on any User-Accessible Bus in analog or unencrypted, compressed form.”  That sure sounds like PVP-UAB will need to be ready.  I would expect CableCARD and DirecTV to also make use of it, as it is easy to get anything off of the current PCI bus.

It would be very nice if Microsoft would release the details of what’s really needed for CableCARD PC’s.  Will I be able to build one or not?  Does Media Center via retail matter any more?



var dc_UnitID = 14;
var dc_PublisherID = 11967;
var dc_AdLinkColor = ‘6699cc';
var dc_adprod=’ADL';


Microsoft Unveils Windows Vista Product Lineup



Microsoft Unveils Windows Vista Product Lineup | Microsoft Corp. today announced the product lineup of its upcoming Windows Vista operating system. Scheduled for release later this year, the Microsoft Windows Vista product lineup will bring clarity to customers’ digital world by helping them easily accomplish everyday tasks, instantly find what they want, enjoy the latest in entertainment, improve the safety of their personal information, stay connected at home or on the go, and help ensure PCs are up-to-date, more secure and running smoothly.

The Windows Vista product lineup consists of six versions, two for businesses, three for consumers, and one for emerging markets: Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise, Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Ultimate and Windows Vista Starter. The number of offerings is the same as the number of offerings currently available for Windows XP. More important, the lineup is designed to deliver clear value to a broad range of customers, each product tailored to meet specific needs of various segments of customers — home PC users, small and medium-sized businesses and the largest enterprises — and is aimed at bringing 64-bit, Media Center and Tablet PC functionality into the mainstream.

“We live in a digital world that is filled with more information, more things to do and more ways to communicate with others than ever,” said Mike Sievert, corporate vice president of Windows Product Management and Marketing at Microsoft. “The PC needs to give people the clarity and confidence to handle this ‘world of more’ so they can focus on what’s most important to them. With our Windows Vista product line, we’ve streamlined and tailored our product lineup to provide what our customers want for today’s computing needs.”

Windows Vista: Designed for Businesses of All Sizes

Business customers can choose from two versions that are designed to meet their needs, based on the size and scale of their organizations:

  • Windows Vista Business. Windows Vista Business is the operating system designed for organizations of all sizes. For small businesses, Windows Vista Business will help keep PCs running smoothly and more securely so they are less reliant on dedicated IT support. For larger organizations, Windows Vista Business will provide dramatic new infrastructure improvements that will enable IT staff to spend less time focused on day-to-day maintenance of PCs and more time on adding strategic value to the organization. These are some of the specific features of Windows Vista Business:
  • A new user interface, named Windows Aero™, is designed to deliver the most productive, highest-performing desktop experience possible. Windows Aero will provide a professional-looking, transparent glass design, with subtle effects such as dynamic reflections and smooth animations, along with Windows Flip and Flip 3D desktop navigation features.
  • In addition to these navigation improvements, Windows Vista Business makes it easier than ever to manage huge volumes of business documents. By integrating search throughout the operating system and providing new ways to organize files, Windows Vista Business helps business users quickly find exactly what they are looking for.
  • Windows Tablet PC technology provides built-in handwriting recognition and enables interaction with the PC with a digital pen or fingertip instead of a keyboard.
  • Windows Vista Enterprise. To better address the needs of large global organizations and those with highly complex IT infrastructures, Windows Vista Enterprise is designed to significantly lower IT costs and risk. In addition to all the features available in Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise is designed to provide higher levels of data protection using hardware-based encryption technology. It will also include tools to improve application compatibility and will enable organizations to standardize on a single worldwide deployment image with the inclusion of all Windows user-interface languages. Windows Vista Enterprise will be available only to customers who have PCs covered by Microsoft Software Assurance or a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement. These are some of the specific Windows Vista Enterprise features.
  • Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption helps prevent sensitive data and intellectual property from falling into the wrong hands if a computer is lost or stolen.
  • Virtual PC Express is one of several built-in tools that improve application compatibility with previous versions of Microsoft operating systems. Virtual PC Express enables a legacy application to run unchanged on a legacy Windows operating system in a virtual environment on top of Windows Vista Enterprise.
  • Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications enables users to run UNIX applications unchanged on a Windows Vista Enterprise-based PC.

The new user interface Windows Aero is also available in this edition of Windows Vista.

Windows Vista: Incredible New Experiences and Choices for the Home PC User

 Consumers can choose from three versions that deliver exciting new experiences for the home PC user:

  • Windows Vista Home Basic. Windows Vista Home Basic is a great choice for homes with basic computing needs. For consumers who want to simply use the PC to browse the Internet, correspond with friends and family through e-mail or perform basic document creation and editing tasks, Windows Vista Home Basic will deliver a safer, more reliable and more productive computing environment. It will provide new tools and technologies for making the PC more secure and enjoyable, including features such as a new Search Explorer, Sidebar and Parental Controls.
  • Windows Vista Home Premium. Windows Vista Home Premium will help consumers use mobile or desktop PC functionality more effectively while enabling the enjoyment of new, exciting digital entertainment experiences. Windows Vista Home Premium improves every aspect of digital entertainment experiences, including photos, video, TV, movies, music and games. Windows Vista Home Premium includes everything in Windows Vista Home Basic, along with additional features and enhancements such as the following:
  • The new user interface Windows Aero is also available in this edition of Windows Vista.
  • Windows Vista Home Premium integrates search throughout the operating system, helping customers easily organize and quickly find large collections of documents, pictures, movies, videos and music.
  • Windows Media Center capabilities turn the PC into an all-in-one home entertainment center. Consumers can use Media Center to record and watch TV shows (even high-definition TV) and access new kinds of online entertainment content. It also provides the ability to connect Windows Vista Home Premium to Xbox 360™, extending the Media Center experience to multiple rooms in the home.
  • Windows Tablet PC technology, which enables interaction with the PC with a digital pen or fingertip instead of a keyboard, is also available in this edition of Windows Vista.
  • Integrated DVD burning and authoring allows users to seamlessly burn personal videos photos and files to video or data DVDs, and easily create professional-looking DVDs from home movies that can be shared with family and friends.
  • Windows Vista Ultimate. Windows Vista Ultimate is the edition of Windows Vista that has it all. It is the first operating system that brings together all the entertainment features, mobility features and business-oriented features available in Windows Vista.

 All new versions are available for either 32-bit or 64-bit systems, depending on the needs of the customer. Windows Vista Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate and Business will be available as a full-packaged product at retail and on new PCs. Windows Vista Enterprise will be offered only to business customers participating in Microsoft’s Software Assurance program.

 Microsoft also will offer Windows Vista Starter in emerging markets. Windows Vista Starter is designed to empower families and entry-level PC users in these markets to experience the world of social and educational benefits that personal computer technology and the Internet makes possible. A 32-bit operating system designed specifically for lower-cost computers, Windows Vista Starter enables popular beginner PC activities and provides an easy-to-use and more affordable entry point to the Windows Vista family of products.

 “Windows Vista is going to be a significant release for all Windows customers — including enterprises, small and medium-sized businesses as well as consumers,” said Al Gillen, research director for System Software at IDC. “Microsoft’s strategy to address different customer segments with versions of Windows Vista optimized for their needs should be well received by these diverse user segments.”

All versions of Windows Vista are scheduled to be broadly available in the second half of 2006.



var dc_UnitID = 14;
var dc_PublisherID = 11967;
var dc_AdLinkColor = ‘6699cc';
var dc_adprod=’ADL';