Geeky Microsoft wants a TV makeover

Microsoft is promoting its Windows products on popular TV shows like Fox's "24" and HBO's "The Wire," airing this fall, as part of the software company's push to transform the PC's image from "geek to sleek." Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft formed a group last November to gain exposure for Windows products in sports and entertainment programming, according to Andy Ma, Microsoft's program manager for strategic placement.

After some early success with shows like "24" last season, Microsoft funded the marketing team to strike again this year, particularly for the company's new Windows Media Center Edition 2004. The software, an advanced TV application with the PC as its hub, will be featured on upcoming shows of CBS's forensics show "CSI," as well as "24" and "The Wire," among others.

The campaign is part of a push from Microsoft executive Jim Allchin called "cool form factor," which charges the marketing group with buffing the PC's image to a hip shine among consumers, Ma said Tuesday during an interview at the Los Angeles launch of Media Center. Allchin, head of Microsoft's Windows operating systems business, described the software's debut as part of Microsoft's transition from "geek to sleek." He made these remarks at the event, which featured an MTV-like video of young, upwardly mobile consumers using Media-Center-powered devices in the living room to watch digital movies and photos and listen to music.

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News source: c|net

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