Microsoft Directly Engages Custom Installers at CEDIA EXPO 2007

As support for Windows Media Center continues to grow,
Microsoft announces new hardware alliances, new software capabilities and the
Ultimate Install Contest.

DENVER — Sept. 5, 2007 — Microsoft Corp. is exhibiting at CEDIA EXPO
2007 to build direct relationships with custom installers and illustrate the
growing CEDIA channel support for home entertainment and automation systems
based on the Microsoft® Windows® Media Center platform.

“Our software and hardware alliances in the CEDIA market have created a huge
amount of interest in Windows Media Center as the platform of choice for the
digital home,” said Scott Evans, group manager in the Entertainment and Devices
eHome Division at Microsoft. “As a result of our growing collaborations,
Microsoft decided the time was right to establish a direct presence at the
custom installation channel’s most eagerly anticipated annual event, CEDIA
EXPO. We are fully committed to making Windows Media Center-based devices the
most compelling entertainment solutions, and we are here to demonstrate our
support for the custom channel.”

Microsoft’s presence at the show is accompanied by several impressive
announcements that bolster the standing of Windows Media Center as the
fastest-growing platform in the custom installation market.

Some of the biggest names at CEDIA are intensifying their support of Windows
Media Center at the show:

  • Life|ware, the industry pioneer in Windows Media
    Center-based digital entertainment software, unveiled its own line of Windows
    Media Center hardware, including new high-end systems featuring
    Quad-CableCARD-tuners. Windows Media Center-based Life|ware home automation
    software took a leap forward with news regarding a future Windows Home Server
    Add-in to complement its announced Windows Home Server-based Life|storage™ server.
  • Home automation giant Crestron Electronics Inc. officially
    announced that it will now be a Microsoft Windows Media Center direct OEM and
    will deliver Windows Media Center-based hardware in 2008.
  • Leading multiroom audio manufacturer Russound announced it
    will deliver its Smart Media Console line in fall 2007. These Windows Media
    Center-based products provide custom installers with a simple turnkey solution
    for enabling advanced home automation and integration with Russound’s whole
    home audio solutions, allowing faster installs and less programming for
    integrators.
  • Niveus Media Inc. is taking digital video recorder
    functionality to the next level with its announcement to support up to four
    digital cable tuners. Through the combination of Windows Vista Ultimate-based
    Niveus Media Servers and the Niveus Digital Cable Receivers, customers will be
    able to enjoy four HD premium programs simultaneously throughout the home.
  • Alienware has introduced the new Windows Media Center-based
    Alienware HD Media Server, positioned to fulfill the demand for an easy-to-use,
    high-definition content acquisition, storage and distribution device in
    next-generation digital homes. Alienware’s HD Media Server and Hangar18 are
    both part of the new Alienware Digital Home Channel Program, which is tailored
    to the needs of system integrators.

Channel’s First Quad-CableCARD Devices

Windows Media Center hardware continues to evolve to meet the needs of the
CEDIA installer by increasing connectivity and conveniences in the home. Life|ware’s
Life|media™ LMS-654 and LMS-754, each with four internal CableCARD tuners, and
Niveus Media’s announced support for quad-CableCARD tuners through multiple
external Niveus Digital Cable Receivers will allow installers of Windows Media
Center to provide clients with the ability to enjoy four cable channels
simultaneously throughout the home without the use of cable boxes.

Extenders for Windows Media Center

In other hardware news significant to the CEDIA channel, Microsoft
demonstrated new Extenders for Windows Media Center. Extenders provide the
ultimate whole house entertainment, allowing installers to deliver the Windows
Media Center experience in up to five additional zones in a home. Further
details will be announced at the DigitalLife event in New York on Sept. 27,
2007.

Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest

To cement its relationship with the CEDIA channel, Microsoft announced the
first annual Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest. This Windows Media
Center-specific design contest will allow installers to showcase their most
extraordinary Windows Media Center-based residential projects. Further details
are available at http://www.microsoft.com/ceinstaller
or at Microsoft Booth 320 during CEDIA EXPO.

WebGuide Third-Party Plug-In Now Free

Microsoft also revealed that as of Sept. 5, 2007, the popular third-party
placeshifting plug-in application for Windows Media Center is available at no
cost. WebGuide allows Windows Media Center consumers to view live and recorded
TV, schedule and manage recorded television programs, and access music,
pictures and videos remotely from any Web browser. Further details are
available at http://www.asciiexpress.com/webguide.

Internet TV for Windows Media Center

The number of content providers delivering video over the Internet continues
to grow, and Microsoft is supporting this by adding a new Internet TV feature
to Windows Media Center. Microsoft said its Internet TV service will be
available for all Windows Vista Home Premium-and Windows Vista Ultimate-based
PCs in the U.S. This new capability will allow a range of video content to be
streamed to any Windows Media Center or Extender in the connected home. Further
details will be announced at the DigitalLife event in New York on Sept. 27,
2007.

“This combination of unprecedented partner support, new products and
services, and the first-ever Windows Media Center install contest, along with
our presence at CEDIA EXPO, proves our commitment to the custom install
channel,” Evans said. “Working together, we can bring the vision of the digital
home to its fullest potential.”

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