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Microsoft's Next Media Center

Techstination feature for Friday, May 7, 2004

Microsoft's new home computing concept. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The world's biggest software company used its annual hardware engineering conference to unveil a prototype of the next generation media center. Windows XP project manager Tracy Overby…

"This next generation is called the home center PC concept. And what it allows you to do is for instance, if you're watching live TV and a phone call comes in, you can pause that live TV, and your caller ID would show up on your TV's computer screen. Using what's called an intelligent remote, which has a built in speaker, you're actually able to talk to the person who is calling you on the phone through the remote control. Another great thing about the intelligent remote which works with the home center PC, is that it has what's called biometric authentication."

So by picking up the remote…the system knows who you are…and give you access to your digital music, pictures and TV programs stored on it. The system will include dual high definition TV tuners…

"It's a great advancement on what we're already seeing… and we're just taking it to another level."

But not just yet. The innovations are still in the concept stage. While bits and pieces of the technology will arrive within a year or so, Microsoft says it will take three to five years before the concept will be fully realized. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.