Xbox plays starring role in Windows update

by admin October 14, 2005 at 2:53 pm

Microsoft on Friday delivered new software that will more closely link its forthcoming Xbox 360 gaming console into the company’s plans for delivering digital entertainment.

The company said that as part of an update to its Media Center Edition of Windows, it will add the capability to stream digital media–music, videos, photos television and movies–from Media Center PCs to any television or device via Xbox 360. The move has been expected. Company executives discussed plans to build the software earlier this year.

Microsoft already allows customers to stream media through devices it calls Media Center Extenders, and it has in the past sold a kit to make Xbox work with Media Center PCs. But the new software will make Xbox, Microsoft’s high-profile game machine, a peer in such arrangements and will for the first time include the ability to stream high-definition content. Xbox 360 consoles with special Media Center Extender technology will ship later this year, said Brad Brooks, senior director of product management in Microsoft’s Windows client division.

The move could help promote sales of both Xbox and Media Center PCs, as Microsoft continues to link its products into a larger home entertainment plan, which still relies on the PC–and the company’s Windows franchise–as its center of gravity. Competitors include Apple Computer, which continues to build a franchise around its iPod lineup; Sony, the longtime consumer electronics heavyweight; and others.

Full article: ZDNet News