Paul has upped his review of Windows XP Media Center Edition. Here's a snip:
In January 2002, I got my first look at Microsoft's Freestyle software--a remote-friendly front-end to digital media tasks--and immediately wanted it. Back then, of course, it was unclear how the software would be delivered, and I had hoped that any XP user would be able to get Freestyle through a cheap, Plus!-type add-on. However, in the days since January, Microsoft decided to ship Freestyle as Windows XP Media Center Edition (XP MCE), which will be made available solely with powerful new PCs, logically dubbed media center PCs. While I understand the reasoning behind this decision, I still have my doubts, since there is a large crowd of digital media enthusiasts who might have paid $50 for an add-on package but have no interest in shelling out $1800 or more for a new PC, just to get this software.
The Windows Media Center interface (Figure) is designed solely to consume digital media. That is, you can't use Media Center to copy an audio CD to the hard drive, create your own audio mix CDs, or copy photos from your digital camera to the PC. Instead, you use Media Center to watch and listen to digital content. This content could come from your TV or, more specifically, a cable or satellite TV connection, it could be stored locally on your PC, or it could be stored remotely on another PC on your home network. Media Center has interfaces for TV tasks (live TV and digitally recorded TV), digital music, digital photos and other pictures, digital videos, and DVD movies.
News source: Windows Super Site