According to many blogs and the Microsoft OEM site, Microsoft is due to release Windows Media Center Edition Update (codenamed Emerald) soon. The update dubbed "Update Rollup 2" will be released in approximately a month. The update will be released to OEM's within the next week. According to a recent Microsoft Chat the update is expected to contain the following:
A number of comments on Microsoft public Windows Media Center newsgroups point towards the fact OEMs (Acer, HP etc) customer support are informing Media Center owners to expect the update in mid october. Unfortunately in tonight's monthly Media Center Chat, Todd Bowra (Program Manager, Media Center Extender) stated "we cannot comment on unannounced products, and in some cases may not be able to discuss specific aspects of announced products. This chat is primarily to discuss questions or issues with our current products.".
It's likely that if the update is due in October that it will be released on Patch Tuesday (11th October). This will mean the update could filter down to PCs for November. Exciting stuff.
Gemstones you say? Vista MCE
This week Microsoft revealed the future of the Media Center interface, well, part of it anyway. In the September Community Technology Preview build of Vista (5219) the Ultimate Edition features some elements of MCE. We've had a play around with the features and you can take a look at the interface below. Unfortunately (thanks Hauppauge) we couldn't get the TV working correctly due to lack of drivers. Vista MCE codenamed Diamond will feature heavily in Beta 2 due year end.
Screenshot: Microsoft's Country Folk Developers