Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) was launched in Bryant Park, New York City, on October 29th 2002 to rapturous industry applause. Designed specifically to enable the convergence of the PC and home entertainment, Media Center Edition was built on Microsoftâ€™s existing Windows XP platform.
With that broad product brief in mind, Microsoft set about enabling the PC to perform many of the tasks that were previously the domain of consumer electronics devices. Having a computer as the centre of your home entertainment system, due to its flexibility and power, is the logical step that the computing industry has been working towards for some time, especially in recent years.
With PCs getting smaller, quieter and more powerful, the time is ripe for the PC to become a standard feature in todayâ€™s modern living room. And Microsoft believes that the key to the PCs home entertainment transformation is Windows XP Media Center Edition.
Media Center Edition turns the PC in to a fully fledged entertainment hub, controlling TV, audio, video, DVD, photo collections and much more, all with a slick interface designed to be as easy to use as possible.
Research vindicates Microsoftâ€™s decision to create the entertainment orientated version of XP; â€œThe largest increase in home PC usage centres around entertainment: 44 percent of owners listen to music on their PC, 40 percent view photos, and 21 percent view DVDs via PC," is something Microsoft is happy to tell you.
In a break from Microsoftâ€™s usual sales model, Windows XP Media Center Edition will only be available as a bundle with a new PC. MCE is sold this way, for one main reason. MCE requires, for its full functionality to be available and to offer the richest user experience, a set of specific hardware components. This ensures that Microsoft ships MCE with a fully tested, compatible and powerful PC so that the user can get the most out of this new wonder OS.
With the specified components including but not limited to, high end CPUs, plenty of memory for running XP and the specific MCE functions, TV tuners, DVD drives and the latest DirectX compatible graphics cards, you can see why Microsoft ensures that MCE isnâ€™t loaded onto just any old PC.