Microsoft Skips Media Center Update

Microsoft for the first time in three years plans to go without a new release of Windows XP Media Center Edition, a company spokesperson says. Instead, Microsoft plans to offer an update to Media Center Edition 2005 to refine some features, says Microsoft Product Manager Tom Laemmel, speaking in an interview at the CeBIT tradeshow here. That update would be "bigger than your standard Windows update, but smaller than a Service Pack," he says.

An update instead of a new release should please existing Media Center users. An upgrade to a newer version of the operating system has been a hassle, often requiring the user to buy a complete new copy of the product. "It is looking more like it will be an update, not a new version," Laemmel says. The next new release of Media Center will be the Longhorn version, he says. Longhorn is the code-name for the next version of Windows, due out in late 2006. A first Longhorn beta is set to ship in the coming months, but that beta won't include Media Center capabilities.

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