Re: Forced to switch to JFW Pro

  • From: sueb@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: jfw@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, jfw@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 4 Dec 2005 10:26:15 -0500 (GMT-05:00)


Thank you for posting your problems to the list.  It prompted me to spend a bit 
of my Sunday morning reading time learning about Windows Media Center Edition.  
One of the good articles I found is pasted below.  It seems to indicate that 
the people who sold you your computer weren't listening very well.  You told 
them you wanted to purchase a new computer with Windows XP Home edition on it 
so that you could use your current version of JAWS. This article clearly states 
that Windows Media Center Edition isn't the same thing as Windows XP Home.  The 
company you purchased your computer from didn't sell you what you asked for and 
thus you would, in my opinion of course, have every cause to expect a refund or 
exchange.  I do agree that Freedom Scientific needs to be able to provide its 
users with information on accessibility of the now 5 different versions of 
Windows XP so that the problems you are having don't become a typical problem 
when JAWS users purchase computers from retailers and expect to add their 
adaptive software to them with ease.

Sue B.

Article pasted from C|Net

By Joe Wilcox
Staff Writer
Published: July 16, 2002, 4:00 AM PDT

Microsoft on Tuesday gave an official name to an upcoming version of Windows XP 
that aims to make the PC a permanent part of the home entertainment center.

Originally code-named Freestyle, this entertainment version of Windows--which 
will go by the name Windows XP Media Center Edition--will appear on new PCs and 
PC hybrids in time for the holidays, the company revealed on Tuesday. With 
Windows Media Center, consumers will be able to use a TV remote control to 
catalog songs, videos and pictures, as well as check TV listings.

Windows Media Center brings the number of XP versions to five. The others are 
Home, for standard consumer PCs; Professional, for businesses; Tablet PC, for 
tablet devices and notebooks; and an embedded version for other devices. 
Earlier this year, Chairman Bill Gates said that selling customized versions of 
Windows, as requested by nine states pursuing the antitrust case against 
Microsoft, would confuse customers.

Microsoft unveiled Freestyle, which promised to unlock the operating system's 
digital media features via a remote control and new user interface, during the 
Consumer Electronics Show in January.

But digital media aficionados and other consumers will not be able to buy the 
new XP version and install it on existing PCs. Instead, they'll have to spring 
for a new system if they want Windows Media Center. Freestyle PCs could be used 
for either standard computing or digital entertainment.

"Consumers aren't forgiving, especially for products that come and are a new 
idea," said Jodie Cadiuex, Windows Media Center marketing manager. "If this 
doesn't work well the first time around, they tend to not want to go back any 
time soon. We felt very strongly that for a positive consumer experience it 
should be OEM only"--meaning only from PC makers.

The first Windows Media Center PCs and PC entertainment hybrids would appear in 
time for the holidays, said Cadiuex, who declined to give a specific date.

"We can tell you that it would be before Comdex," the Nov. 18-22 computer trade 
show in Las Vegas, she said. "We're still in beta."

Microsoft delivered the first Freestyle entertainment PCs to testers in June.

Yankee Group analyst Ryan Jones said that November is too late.

"They're missing an important date somewhat by releasing for the holidays," he 
said. "This is not a game console. This is a PC with digital media 
functionalities, and the real target market for that is the dorm room. By 
missing Aug. 1, that's an unfortunate timing for them."

Cadiuex acknowledged that college students and teenagers are important target 
market groups for Windows Media Center PCs, as they would use the systems both 
for computing and digital entertainment.

Microsoft also is interested in other potential buyers.

"If you're a digital media enthusiast--which approximately one-quarter of U.S. 
households are that have PCs--and you have your PC and TV in the same space, 
you'll use (Windows Media Center) there," Cadiuex said.

The first iteration of Windows Media Center would appear on desktops, not 
notebooks, Cadiuex said.

Taking on Apple
Analysts noted that the announcement--Microsoft's second regarding digital 
media this week--coincides with Apple Computer's Macworld trade show, which 
opens on Wednesday.

Windows Media Center "really hits Apple where it hurts," Jones said. "Apple has 
been working really hard to establish themselves as the digital media hub with 
iTunes and iPhoto. Everyone knew digital media was going to be big on Windows 
XP, but to layer on some very simple interfaces you can access by remote 
control from across the room really hits Apple where it hurts."

Apple has positioned the Mac as a digital hub for connecting cameras, 
camcorders and music players and also for making movies or burning them to 
DVDs. PC makers created the strategy of using a computer in this market but so 
far Apple has come out with more software and more actively promoted the idea.

"Microsoft is trying to play catch up with Apple," said Technology Business 
Research analyst Bob Sutherland.

The timing of the announcement, he said, could be designed to draw attention 
away from Macworld and Apple's digital media strategy.

Some of the new features on Windows Media Center would be hard for Apple to 
easily dismiss, Jones said.

Using a remote control, consumers would be able to listen to digital music, 
work with digital photos, create movies or watch DVD movies or TV shows.

"Apple was offering remotes with their PCs, like in the early '90s," Jones 
said. "But with the penetration of broadband and the ability to watch DVD on PC 
now makes it more relevant."

Windows Media Center also comes with a digital personal video recorder (PVR) 
that serves up TiVo-like features, as long as the PC contains an additional TV 
tuner card and other hardware.

PVRs, which let consumers use an online guide to schedule shows for recording 
ahead of time or to stop or replay live action programming, are not new to PCs. 
Sony ships several Vaio consumer PCs with its GigaPocket PVR. On Monday, El 
Gato Software launched the first consumer PVR for the Macintosh market.

But PVRs for PCs, like their TV counterparts, aren't big sellers. NPDTechworld 
analyst Stephen Baker said that at retail, "the volumes on these are pretty 
low, usually 10,000 units a month or so."

Eventually, though, PVRs, or at least the capabilities they offer, could be 
commonplace. Customers who use them like them, according to many market 
surveys. In two to three years, all the electronics for using a PC hard drive 
like a PVR will be included in a computer's chipset, according to Sean Maloney, 
general manager of Intel's Communications Group. If Microsoft's software 
continues to evolve, consumers could find themselves buying a PVR every time 
they buy a PC.

The programming guide for Windows Media Center's PVR "offers at minimum, seven 
days free," Cadiuex said. "We're a not offering" an enhanced for-fee 
programming guide. "But it's a platform for partners to offer it."

Microsoft will not license the decoder for DVD playback, a policy it started 
with the official release of Windows XP last year.

"We're still going to be using somebody else's," Cadiuex said.

Then again, taking on the cost of the decoder fee would be a big expense given 
that 42 percent of PCs with Internet access have DVD drives, according to 
Yankee Group.

"If Microsoft were to take on that licensing fee, it would be a fair chunk of 
change, Jones said.

Hewlett-Packard and Samsung are among the computer manufacturers developing 
Windows Media Center PCs. Cadiuex would not reveal pricing, but she estimated 
it would be between $1,000 and $2,000.

-----Original Message-----
From: Katrina <kanderson@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Dec 4, 2005 2:35 AM
To: jfw@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Forced to switch to JFW Pro

After spending the last week dealing with several problems getting a new
desktop computer to work, it turns out I am faced with the worst problem of
all, and everything I have gone through thus far may have been a huge waste
of time, money, and resources.  Obviously I will contact FS Monday about
this matter, but that will be my first day back to work after a long
vacation, so I may not have an easy time of getting to speak with somebody
during business hours.  In the meantime, I was hoping somebody on this list
could help.

I thought that my new computer came with Windows XP Home, but instead it has
Windows XP Media Center.  I had never heard of that, and actually had
thought there were only two versions (Home or Pro).  I knew to not get
Windows XP Pro, but apparently I should have known to stress that my version
of JFW would only work with XP Home, and made sure to not get the Media
Center.  I had called FS to ask if there was anything I needed to stay away
from and/or know about before buying the computer.  I specifically asked
about the ATI video card, as I had heard that could be a problem.  I was
advised on that topic, but was given no other advice.  Oh well, that is
water under the bridge.  Now I need to figure out how to solve the problem
at hand.  After installing JFW, I was given a message about this version of
JFW not working with XP Pro, etc.  I thought that was interesting, because I
didn't purchase XP Pro.  I did a bit of research on the FS Website, and
learned that FS does not support Media Center (and/or hasn't tested it), but
that it would work with the professional version of JFW.  Well, it was a
great time to find that out!  (frown)

As I see it, there are three choices.  First of all I called HP to ask if
the HP Pavilion with Windows XP Media Center could be changed to XP Home.  I
was told absolutely it could not!  I was advised to return the computer, and
get one with XP Home, so that is my second option.  Or then there is the
third option of purchasing the JFW Pro version.  Since the first option
appears to be out of the question, I'm left with two choices.  I truly don't
want to think about returning the computer and getting another one, as I
have spent a good deal of time and money getting this computer working.  I
have had lots of people help with transportation, installation, etc.  This
past week I was on vacation, but Monday it is back to reality.  I never
considered that I couldn't have this computer working before returning to
the stress of my job.  But, it is unfortunately going to happen that way.  

It is a long story, but all of it revolves around the installation of a
secondary hard drive (from my old computer), and the floppy from the old
computer.  Best Buy ran into a major problem, which they thought was a flaw
in my new computer.  Turned out the problem lied in their network.  I don't
even know if they will take this computer back after all of the work that
has been done.  Fortunately I have had access to transportation this past
week, so it was possible to travel back and forth to Best Buy multiple
times.  That transportation will not be available after tomorrow, and I am
definitely not going to pay for a taxi considering the distance involved.

So, that makes me lean toward the latter choice....getting the JFW Pro
version.  Now my much would I have to pay to get that
software?  I just purchased version 6.1 a few months ago, and have been
using version 7 most recently.  I really am not sure I can afford another
thousand dollars.  Since I already have JFW, and a Sma, would I have to pay
the full price?  And, since FS hasn't tested Media Center should I stay away
from it?

All thoughts would be greatly appreciated!


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