Microsoft at Home

Writes the Seattle Time on what was earlier codenamed Freestyle:

Microsoft, in its latest attempt to place its software in consumers’ home-entertainment systems, is disclosing details today of a dramatically new version of Windows that’s scheduled to debut on special PCs this fall.

Called Windows XP Media Center Edition, the software will run a class of computers built to record and play music and television shows, as well as process words, crunch numbers and surf the Internet.

The software displays a simplified control screen on the computer monitor and may be manipulated by remote control. It’s designed to allow users to sit on a couch with friends as they peruse digital photos or watch DVDs on the computer monitor, rather than crowd around someone sitting at a keyboard.

A small group of computer companies is set to begin selling specially designed Media Center Edition PCs this fall. Priced at roughly $1,500, the machines will be aimed at college students, teenagers and digital-media enthusiasts.

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