How Microsoft Can Save Media Center

When I learned that Linksys and HP were killing off their Windows Media Center Extenders, I wondered: Where did Microsoft go wrong? When the company launched its Media Center Edition in 2002, it was a visionary attempt to create a unified media platform for TV, music and other media that could eventually reach around the home. A few years later, the launch of Media Center Extenders — devices that allow you to play content from a Media Center PC anywhere in the home — showed the company moving ever-closer to this vision.

But for some reason, Media Center never delivered on its original promise.

Do Consumers Care Where Their Content Is Stored?

Reading Om’s piece on Pogoplug this week, I started to think about how local network storage and cloud storage are becoming indistinguishable to the end user. While it’s not technically cloud storage, Pogoplug allows you to placeshift by accessing your locally stored content through the cloud, making anywhere access to content much simpler.

High Hub Hopes: Microsoft’s Home Server

With Microsoft’s announcement of the Windows Home Server launch yesterday, the propaganda machines on both sides of the aisle are heating up. On one end, people are claiming that Windows Home Server will soon prove to be the one product that will finally revolutionize the way we enjoy movies and music in our homes. On the other, there is the claim Windows Home Server is nothing more than a mass storage device that can do everything a NAS storage device can do now. And while that may make sense to some, the real benefit of Windows Home Server is its ability to store huge amounts of data, allowing you to access your files from anywhere in the world.
Medion Home ServerMore than anything else, two features of the multimedia industry have emerged over the past year: People want the devices in their homes to talk to each other, and those same people are more than willing to watch video on their computer screens. In fact, the head of Alcatel’s (ALA) fixed communications division, Michel Rahier, stated just last year that he believes “there will be about 100 million subscribers to IPTV by 2010.” And while this does not necessarily mean that all of those people will be watching shows on their computers, it makes Windows Home Server an even more valuable commodity in the home.
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