[opendtv] From Microsoft, a First Take

  • From: Monty Solomon <monty@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: undisclosed-recipient: ;
  • Date: Sat, 4 Sep 2004 00:38:48 -0400


From Microsoft, a First Take

September 2, 2004

IF you're trying to figure out if somebody is a gadget freak, try 
this simple test: work the phrase "video iPod" into a sentence. If 
the subject hyperventilates, salivates or passes out, you'll know.

After all, surely the only thing more divine than a shiny, 
pocket-size trinket that plays music (like the iPod and its brethren) 
would be a shiny, pocket-size trinket that also plays TV and movies.

Prepare ye. Today marks the dawning of the age of the Windows Mobile 
Portable Media Center, a Microsoft software design for hand-held 
audio-video-photo players. In the next month or two, Creative Labs, 
Samsung and iRiver will all release players that run the little 
operating system with the very big name.

Microsoft is confident that the Portable Media Center (PMC) is just 
what the world has been waiting for. After all, look at the success 
of personal DVD players, whose five-  to nine-inch screens illuminate 
passengers' faces in thousands of planes, trains and automobiles each 
day. Who wouldn't find a PMC even more attractive? It's more compact; 
its built-in hard drive eliminates the need to carry around a bunch 
of DVD discs; and it can play any video you like, not just 
prerecorded movies.

On the other hand, video players will never be as popular as music 
players. They'll always be bigger and bulkier, for one thing, because 
of the larger screen. (The Creative Labs version, the Zen Portable 
Media Center, weighs 12 ounces, versus 3.6 for an iPod Mini.) Video 
players will always have much shorter battery life, too, because they 
have to play video and audio simultaneously.



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