one of my very personal hot topics is
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:
- 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
- Recorded TV. Select a previously recorded program to play back,
without interrupting the viewing experience on the TV.
- 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