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BETA: Microsoft releases Beta Windows Media Center SideShow Gadget
Posted by Arne Hess - on Monday, 07.07.08 - 00:01:00 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 30543x
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Brilliant, one of my very personal hot topics is Microsoft's SideShow technology for Windows Vista which is a technology for distributing interactive content to connected small-screen devices, such as Windows Mobile smartphones. The content is created and managed by small software applications called SideShow gadgets. And while Microsoft finally released the long awaited SideShow application for Windows Mobile a while ago, even if yet available as an early Beta only, one of the most anticipated SideShow gadget wasn't available so far - a Windows Vista Media Center gadget to remote control the Media Center from mobile devices like smartphones.

Nevertheless, Microsoft finally released an early preview which is now available from Microsoft's Connect website (free account required) and the 4 new Media Center Gadgets allows you to interact with your Media Center enabled Windows Vista PC by providing following functionalities:

  • TV
    • Browse TV and schedule recordings. Browse the TV program guide, view metadata on upcoming or current shows, and pick shows to watch and record (single showing or series), without interrupting the TV viewing experience.
    • Recorded TV. Select a previously recorded program to play back, without interrupting the viewing experience on the TV.
  • Music
    • Play Music. Browse the media library, control music playback on the PC by using the remote control device instead of the primary display, such as a TV.
    • Play radio presets. Browse your radio presets and playback that station through your Media Center.
  • Pictures & Videos
    • Browse the picture and video libraries. Make a selection on the remote and that picture or video will be displayed on the TV.
  • Now Playing
    • Provide "now playing" information. The remote control device shows information about the currently playing medium, such as the track title or the time elapsed.

Since the new gadgets are available from Microsoft Connect, it means they are not yet ready for a mass-market wide use but early development builds Microsoft wants to share with the community. Therefore the gadgets have some known bugs like it's not yet possible to enabled the gadgets on more than one SideShow device to control the Media Center PC. Furthermore it's not yet possible to enable the gadgets for more than one user session on your PC.

Anyway, after Microsoft gave some SideShow love to Windows Mobile owners, it finally starts to release some useful gadgets on its own since there is no wide gadget development out there yet.

Cheers ~ Arne

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