Windows XP Media Center Edition may be the sexiest piece of software Microsoft has ever released -- but it is not yet clear if the program will achieve commercial success.
Microsoft has made an unusual decision concerning this snazzy new software: Consumers cannot buy it as a stand-alone program; rather, it will only be bundled with extremely high-end PCs.
That choice was a gamble on the software giant's part. According to IDC analyst Alan Promisel, Microsoft wants to take no chances with Media Center; the company is adamant about delivering "a seamless user experience." But does a program that pushes a PC's price tag up to three times the industry average even have a chance in a market characterized by lackluster sales?