I’ve just gotten a tip from a very reliable source that
Microsoft is looking to take Media Center off the desktop and turn it into a CE
appliance. The only information that I
have is that it is planned to be a headless device of some sort. Other details are very scarce at this point
with no timeline to speak of, but I’ve been assured that Microsoft is actively
working on such a project.
the Home Server “Media Center UI integration” that I just said wouldn’t happen
the start of this project? Does it
even have anything to do with Windows Home Server? Might Softsled
be making an appearance in this all?
Maybe that technology they
got from WebGuide? I have no idea,
because clearly such a product would go against everything I’ve ever said about
So, I’m a bit shocked that Microsoft is looking to do
anything like this. For years I have
been saying that such a device would fail in the market due to its un-doubtable
high cost in comparison to other CE devices like TiVo’s and the $10/month
Media Center’s number one problem has been failing to define
itself in the market. Enthusiasts and
power users want features not currently provided by Media Center, most of which
Microsoft has shown little interest in actually implementing, and they want it
at the smallest price possible. The
high-end custom install channel wants the same things, but are willing to pay
as much as they need to in order to get the features. Then the rest of the world doesn’t know that
Media Center exists, and even if they did they want it at a price lower than
what enthusiasts and power users are willing to spend.
opinions? I’m not going to ask what
you would pay for such a device, rather
what do you think your Mom would pay?
I’ve established in the past that enthusiasts and power users want such a
device and therefore might be willing to pay for it, but what about your Mom or
other “average” users? Keep in mind that
if this is a headless device, you have to factor in Extenders for each room you
actually want to watch content in.
Looking at this from the outside with no information on what
it planned, I still say such a product would fail to reach the mass
market. Now for the enthusiasts, power
user, and custom-install channel this could be a great move. That brings up another question, is Microsoft shifting their focus for Media
Center from developing for the “mass market” to developing for enthusiasts,
power users, and the custom install channel (Remember
their presence at CEDIA)?