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Windows Vista MCE

by Steve Kerrison on 10 January 2006, 11:55

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaeic

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2006 International CES

We all know that Vista - the next version of the Windows operating system - is coming, and it'll be in several editions, covering everything from the tablet to the media center. Well, it's the media center version we've had a look at today, demonstrated by Microsoft at CES.

The first thing to note about what we saw isn't the OS itself but the screen on which it was being shown - she's a big one. Look to the top right of the screen surround on any of our pictures and you'll see that the display carries the HDMI logo. This shows that the screen connects using the new High-Definition Multimedia Interface. HDMI carries not only video signals but audio, too, making it a more universal means of digitally connecting the entire media center. There is, though, a form of digital rights management (DRM) developed especially for HDMI to control what can be done with the data traversing the interface.

MCE info

Here you can see the build of the OS and the general spec of the system it's running on. The PC is pretty hefty but we are going to be delivering HD content through our next-gen media centers...

MCE navigation

Up and down navigation for categories, left and right for specifics within that category - the interface is very similar to what we're used to.

MCE search

Content can be searched for within the media library or on television.

MCE browse

Browse through you video collection.

MCE listings

HEXUS.likes: NFL and Classic Country.

MCE record

We also love our old skool rap, but we didn't have time to watch it so we had to record it... word!

MCE record

Vista's configuration screen in MCE.

Vista as a media center OS is looking pretty good, then. The interface isn't radically different from today's Windows XP MCE and looks nice and intuitive. Of course it will no doubt change before it hits the shelves - if only slightly - but it's up and running, geared up for sitting at the heart of the digital home.



HEXUS Forums :: 9 Comments

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Does anyone know what the minimum specs will be to run Vista
I'm hoping not this:

That looks great.

Steve - that might actually be spec'ed like that so the system could show HDTV as the USA are going mental over HDTV at the moment and watching these on a system is quite CPU intensive.

The last thing Microsoft want is a system on display showing of Vista MCE edition and then crashing or even BSOD'ing due to the lack of power ;)
My view is that dual-core is close to being a must with Vista MCE - and certainly in the USA or any other locality where you'll be wanting to punt HD footage around - simply to ensure that everything runs smooooooothly, whether or not MS says it's an absolutely necessity.

Okay, that might seem like a big issue today - certainly for those who don't already own dual-core PCs - but will it still be one when Vista MCE is launched?

Well, clearly, we're not all going to go dual-core immediately if it turns out that Vista really requires it - ie we're not going to go to Vista until we've moved to dual-core unless we're happy to live with sub-optimal performance.

But how much more affordable will dual-core CPUs become between now and launch time?

Seems to me that virtually everything that the big companies are saying about the way forward for Windows PCs involves dual-core - be it MS, Intel, AMD, ATI, NVIDIA or anyone else doing the talking.

So, I figure (and am hoping and expecting) that dual-core CPUs will be selling in far larger volumes by then and, thus, be selling for a lot less.

Bob
Odd, I thought the media centre would be integrated into the Home Premium edition and not an indepent release like it was with XP?