Random Notes from Microsoft’s CES Keynote

Media Center 10 million Media Center users a month Average Media Center session time is ~90 minutes Xbox 360 Xbox LIVE membership that has grown to 17 million active members. Xbox 360 has sold 28 million consoles sold to date More than $1 billion spent on Xbox LIVE since the launch of the Xbox 360 Xbox 360 has largest game attach rate Xbox LIVE Primetime channel brings together the best of TV and gaming in an interactive way. Primetime will create scheduled programming, offer interactive and social features. Average Halo player playing 150 hours on Xbox LIVE Two new Halo … Continue reading Random Notes from Microsoft’s CES Keynote

Microsoft’s Ballmer Announces Availability of Windows 7 Beta and Windows Live

Company previews simpler, better Windows operating system and highlights connected entertainment offerings at CES. LAS VEGAS — Jan. 7, 2009 — In a keynote address at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer announced the beta availability of the Windows 7 operating system as well as the availability of the latest version of the Windows Live, a suite of personal communications services and applications. “I’m thrilled to announce the availability of the Windows 7 beta, which is on track to deliver simplicity and reliability,” Ballmer said. “Windows 7 and Windows Live are part … Continue reading Microsoft’s Ballmer Announces Availability of Windows 7 Beta and Windows Live

Windows Helps Consumers Connect to the Digital World

At CES 2009, Microsoft announced advances in Windows 7 beta, Windows Mobile, Windows Live – all designed to help consumers connect and live a ‘life without walls.’ LAS VEGAS – Jan. 7, 2009 – At the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show, Microsoft is shining a spotlight on something besides the biggest LCD screen or the coolest new tech gadgets: It’s showing consumers how Windows can make their lives easier, more productive, more enjoyable. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer opened the show with news that a beta version of Windows 7, Microsoft’s newest operating system, will be widely available for download on … Continue reading Windows Helps Consumers Connect to the Digital World

’08 Disappointments: TV Pack

The biggest disappointment of 2008 has to be Microsoft’s failure to produce a follow-up release to the RTM release of Vista Media Center.  The TV Pack, which was previously codenamed Fiji was delayed well over a year with no information give by Microsoft as to the reason why.   Things finally settled down and Fiji was released as the TV Pack in August (officially at CEDIA in September). Of course the disappointments set in a few months early, with DIRECTV and H.264 being dropped, and then the announcement that Microsoft planned the TV Pack to be OEM-only.   Then came some bugs, … Continue reading ’08 Disappointments: TV Pack

Can DISH Network One-Up DIRECTV?

Now that we are fairly certain that DIRECTV will not ship with Windows 7, the big question remains to be will DISH Network?  Around the time the TV Pack started beta testing, I did hear that some testers had been contacted about testing DISH Network Tuners, and that talk has popped back up in the past few weeks. Going under my theory that Microsoft has all the plumbing in-place for DIRECTV support, there is no reason that same framework can’t work for DISH Network.  If DISH Network wants to make a Media Center tuner, they can using this framework, and … Continue reading Can DISH Network One-Up DIRECTV?

DIRECTV and Microsoft: What Went Wrong

Now that DIRECTV has suspended development on their HDPC-20 Tuner where does that leave us?  There are a lot of differing opinions going around about why DIRECTV canned the tuner, whose fault it is, and where do we go from here.  Most people are pointing the finger at Microsoft, and with their history of releases how could you not?  This doesn’t mean however that Microsoft is totally at fault, but let’s look at the whole situation to see how we got here.  Timeline January 2006 – Microsoft and DIRECTV announce partnership to “develop new ways to expand the reach of … Continue reading DIRECTV and Microsoft: What Went Wrong

DIRECTV Kills Media Center Tuner; Windows 7 to be DIRECTV-less

DIRECTV has informed several bloggers and journalists in the Media Center community that they suspended development of the HDCP-20 Media Center Tuner.  Windows 7 will not include native DIRECTV support, which will servely impact the Media Center platform as a whole. I’ll have more on this later tonight, but I wanted to go ahead and get it out there.

Upcoming Windows 7 Media Center Feature: Broadband TV Services

By now you have most likely seen what some of the new features of Media Center in Windows 7 are, but don’t think it stops there.  In this series I will go over some of the upcoming features of Media Center in Windows 7.  These features should start appearing in later builds, although some of them will be limited to specific testers. I’ve been saying for some time now that Media Center needs to get serious about Internet and Web TV.  Microsoft will be taking another step toward this in Windows 7 by integrating online services in the standard EPG … Continue reading Upcoming Windows 7 Media Center Feature: Broadband TV Services

Short Bits: Windows 7

So the big question in my e-mail Inbox is where have I been hiding.  The answer is that I’ve been crazy busy with school and work, so blogging had to go for a bit.  That doesn’t mean it is over, so let’s start it up again. The biggest news that I missed covering was the big Windows 7 unveiling at WinHEC.  Charlie Owen write a great blog post going over some of the new looks and features, and I hear there is more to come in later builds.  Of course, the focus of some posts about Media Center in Windows … Continue reading Short Bits: Windows 7

TV Pack Questions Answered by Charlie Owen

Charlie Owen will be answering questions about the Media Center TV Pack (Fiji) as soon as Microsoft makes the official announcements, so if you have any questions about things that may have been rumored now would be the time to submit them. I will also finally be able to talk in depth about stuff including what is in/out of Fiji, the possibility of a second Media Center release, and Windows 7 around this timeframe.  If you have questions or comments for me to get a non-Microsoft response let me know.