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.
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...
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.
Content can be searched for within the media library or on television.
Browse through you video collection.
HEXUS.likes: NFL and Classic Country.
We also love our old skool rap, but we didn't have time to watch it so we had to record it... word!
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.