Microsoft’s Gates wants to control digital lifestyle through entertainment network

January 9, 2007 by techbuzz | Leave a Comment
Filed Under Home Entertainment, Wireless

chairman wants to control digital lifestyle, and at the Consumer Electronics Show Sunday night, Bill Gates announced one more project to help the company do it.A vision of a connected lifestyle, in which digital content can move across devices throughout the home and be taken on the go.

software, available during the second half of 2007, will act as the center of a home’s computer network, from photo and video storage to television to accessing computers files at the office away from home, Gates said in the keynote at the conference.Building the underlying networks. Developing the technologies to get devices to communicate. Creating the hardware that can handle the digital data. Returning to the drawing board when there were flops. And finally, getting the backing of entertainment sources to embrace this new era of media consumption.
microsoft home entertainment
The announcement sets up a head-to-head battle with , which is expected to provide details of its iTV set-top box at MacWorld in San Francisco on Tuesday. Both companies are targeting the more than 40 percent of American homes with broadband that can deliver movies, TV, music and data from the Internet.

Gates, Microsoft’s co-founder, chairman and chief software architect, also highlighted deals that will bring video and online services from cable TV channels Fox Sports, Nicklodeon and Starz to its 6-year-old Windows Media Center, a less ambitious software system that will be integrated into the company’s operating system coming to consumers at the end of January.

Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices group and a fast-rising executive at the company, discussed the millions-strong community around Microsoft’s online gaming service Xbox live, and plans to replicate it among users of Microsoft’s Zune, an MP3 player released in November.

Bach said that the Xbox 360 gaming console would be acting as a set-top box for high-quality, interactive Internet protocol television (IPTV) by the end of the year.

In his 11th annual speech headlining the world’s largest tech convention, Gates highlighted how Microsoft’s latest creations and partnerships aim to make it easier for people to navigate, consume, share and manage different kinds of content, whether they are games, movies, family photos, sports or work.

The consumer launch of later this month is the company’s first major overhaul of its operating system since Windows XP was launched in 2001.

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