In October, Microsoft made its largest push yet to gain a foothold in the living rooms and entertainment centers of America with its announcement of Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, along with complimentary products and services from third parties, such as Dell, HP, Gateway, Toshiba's Digital Products Division, D-Link, Linksys and Netgear.
Media Center proposes to run your whole entertainment center, acting as a TV tuner, a digital video recorder, a DVD player, a broadband internet access device, a music player, a photo viewer. If it works, it's a very compelling sell.
The press, analysts and hardcore geeks went into their predictable tizzies over the announcement—and granted, the sight of Bill Gates lounging with Queen Latifah at the press conference was truly mind-bending. But mainstream America has barely shrugged; we certainly haven't heard reports of consumers clamoring to purchase media center PCs this holiday season.