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WinXP Media Center PCs come to Europe

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Microsoft has signed up 30-ish PC builders to flog entertainment-centric PCs based on WinXP Media Center Edition in Europe for the first time. The company already has a roster of 20 OEMs selling Media Center PCs in US, Canada and Korea.

So what is a entertainment-centric PC? Essentially you get to watch TV and DVDs, check out the telly guide, play computer games, listen to music - and you get a remote control thrown in too.

WinXP Media Center Edition marks a major Microsoft thrust to capture the digital entertainment hub which is supposed to be coming to all our living rooms. The company recently commissioned a MORI poll which purports to show that the PC will be the centre of the home entertainment universe. Actually the poll, as Reg hardware editor Tony Smith points out, merely confirms that punters are mustard keen to have a single digital entertainment device but much fewer want this to be a PC.

Still, Microsoft has eggs in more than one basket; future iterations of xBox will deliver a alternative entry point for the company, if consumers reject the PC as entertainment hub. Nvidia, Sony, and Intel are also staking competing claims for occupying centre-stage in the digital living room. ®

You may be interested in the list of new Media Center OEMs. Here it is:

France: Absolut Technology, Elonex, Granville Services France, HP, Kesa Electricals, Packard Bell, PC City, Peristyle, Toshiba, UNIKA, Yakumo

Germany: 4MBO, Actebis, Fujitsu Siemens, HP, GERICOM AG, Hyrican, Medion, Packard Bell, TAROX, Toshiba, Vobis, WORTMANN, Yakumo

UK: Centerprise, CFL Media Center Systems, Elonex Plc, Evesham Technology, Hi-Grade Computers, HP, Hugh Symons Group, iQon Technologies, MESH Computers, Packard Bell, PC World, Quantum Microponents , Time, Toshiba, Yakumo

China: HP, Toshiba

Japan: Fujitsu, Hitachi, NEC, SOTEC, Toshiba

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