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***Consumers in the UK, France and Germany to Enjoy Media Center Edition Experience on TVs Throughout Their Homes by 2005***

Microsoft announced today that Windows® Media Center Extender Technology will be available in Europe in the first half of 2005. The software will power a new generation of products that will extend the Media Center Edition PC experience allowing consumers to access their favourite digital entertainment, such as live and recorded television, photos, movies, and music that reside on their Windows XP Media Center Edition PC, from any room in the home — regardless of where the PC is located. Media Center Extender Technology will not only provide access to rich content and services, but will enable devices throughout the home to utilise the full processing and storage capabilities of the PC creating new opportunities for services and providing unprecedented choice and access to content for consumers.

Consumers can enjoy the benefits of Media Center Extender Technology through a set-top box connected to their television or can purchase a new television with this technology fully integrated.

“Customers are telling us they don’t want to be tied to the room where their PC lives to look at their digital pictures or view a programme recorded on their Media Center PC,” said Paul Randle, Windows Product Manager in the UK. “Windows Media Extender Technologies will address this head on by giving consumers the freedom to enjoy their digital entertainment experiences on any TV display in the home.”

With a Media Center Extender product, consumers who are using a Media Center PC to listen to music, record television programs, watch photo slide shows and home videos, or download movies on demand can enjoy these experiences on a television in one room even if their Media Center PC is being used at the same time by a family member in another room.

By combining the simplicity of a unified digital media library on the Media Center PC with the power of multiple Media Center Extender products that access the Media Center PC simultaneously, Microsoft and industry partners are delivering the most comprehensive, integrated and easy-to-use digital home entertainment solution to consumers.


About Windows XP Media Center Edition
Microsoft® Windows XP Media Center Edition evolves the home PC with easy-to-use integrated digital entertainment that consumers can enjoy when and how they want. It allows users to combine the functionality of traditional PC applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel with the ability to enjoy music, television, personal video recording, pictures, digital video and DVD with remote-control access. Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 features the quality and compression of Windows Media 9 Series, which helps users create, manage and enjoy more high-quality digital music and video than before.


About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

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Microsoft, Windows, Xbox and Windows Media are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

For more information, press only:

GCTV

Tel: +44 (0) 207 729 8386

Kirsten Potter: kirsten@gctv.com

Joel Davies joel@gctv.com

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed.

Published on: 12:00AM on 19th March 2004