WSJ.com - Microsoft Takes On Consumer Electronics With Its New PC "For years, executives in the consumer-electronics industry have pigeonholed personal computers as office equipment, rather than entertainment centers for the home. The PC is too complicated and fragile, they think, ever to be as widely used as the TV.
Microsoft Corp. hopes to change that image by launching Tuesday a new breed of living-room PCs developed in a collaboration with hardware makers such as Dell Inc. and Japan's Sony Corp. The new machines will play digital music, videos, games and control personal digital recorders such as the popular TiVo all from one remote control. The goal: to capitalize on the explosion of consumer-electronics and digital entertainment by rolling all those functions into one PC.
"Microsoft also will announce an online guide built specifically for Media Center that can be used to access different kinds of content over the Internet including news, music and karaoke. Napster, CinemaNow Inc., and MovieLink are expected to announce Tuesday that their services will be available through this online guide. Film buffs, for example, will be able to click on the icon for CinemaNow and select from a list of more than 1,200 movies to download. Consumers will be able to pay for the film by punching in a credit-card number -- on the remote."