Windows XP Media Center Edition – 5 New Countries

From ZDnet’s News pages… “Microsoft’s entertainment-oriented operating system will be launched in five new markets by the end of the year – Microsoft plans to announce on Monday that its Media Center operating system is moving into new countries, even as the software maker works to make the entertainment software more ready for prime time.

After launching the operating system in the United States and Korea, Microsoft has slowly been introducing it in more countries. The company is set to announce Monday that the operating system will reach Australia, Austria, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland by the end of the year.

The geographic expansion comes as the company is also trying to get computer makers to improve the quality of machines based on Windows XP Media Center Edition. Several sessions at last week’s Windows Hardware Engineering Conference were devoted to ways of making Media Center PCs better.

Audiovisual quality has been a particular sticking point, Microsoft executives said at the conference, pointing out that people expect the sound and picture on a $1,500 (£843) media-oriented PC to be at least as good as those from a $99 DVD player. In many cases, though, that hasn’t been the case with the first crop of Media Center PCs, they said.

In a presentation on Thursday, Windows eHome director Keith Laepple said that display makers, graphics chipmakers, tuner makers and PC makers all had work to do to improve the quality of the Media Center PCs that hit store shelves. “

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