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MOBILITY: Microsoft announced it's Portable Media Center product line
Posted by Arne Hess - on Friday, 09.01.04 - 20:15:30 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 5572x
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Do you remember Microsoft Media2Go I was reporting about last Spring when I've attended möbius Europe 2003.

Now it's called Portable Media Center and was announced on CES this week:

Portable Media Centers put all of your favorite video, music, and pictures at your fingertips wherever you are. Take digital entertainment from your PC with you on the go, including recorded TV shows, downloaded videos, home movies, music, and photos. With Windows Mobile software featuring an easy-to-use, familiar Windows Media Center Edition interface, Portable Media Centers let you enjoy immediate access to all of your favorite entertainment - anytime, anywhere. Portable Media Centers will be available in the second half of 2004.

See how Portable Media Centers can revolutionize the way you interact with all your media on the go.

Portable Media Centers
Choose your connection speed:
56k 110k 300k

While I generally like the idea (but honestly, it's not that new I mean in fact it's an iPod with video) I wondered before and still wonder why to have a new device calls - the "Portable Media Center" which is working on Windows CE like Pocket PCs and why Pocket PCs shouldn't be able to fulfill that demands? Is it about the user interface which looks easier and sleeker with a Portable Media Center? If so then my question would be how to improve the Pocket PC UI to make it more convenient to fulfill mass market requirements. If it is something different I would like to learn what it is.
This Media2Go idea itself is a great one and I'm already living it with my Smartphone and Pocket PC but why should I have to carry another device now?

Honestly - I'm still a little bit clueless. :?

Cheers ~ Arne

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Posted by farnold on 10.01.04 - 00:15:59


that's quite simple and most probably not the answer you and I would like. The MS strategy is pretty much "Anywhere, anytime and on any device". That will lead to devices that are specfific to a certain usage or user group - and consequently also require a certain set of programs which are pretty much a subset of the big Windows family.

You and I may think that this all-inclusive device is the better solution. But for themajority of users that is not the case. More abilities means more complexity and more difficult usage. That's exactly what solutions like the Portable Media Center should not be.

Haven said that, nobody rules out that you may have the same set of programs available on a more all-inclusive device like a PC or PocketPC. The later one with its classical limitation in memory, screen size and battery life of course.



Posted by Arne Hess on 10.01.04 - 15:02:35

Frank, thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge with us! Pretty good and I see what you mean/understand Microsoft's position here.

However, I think it doesn't make it easier for the customer to decide what to go for. An example:

We already see a lot of questions like "Should I take a PPCPE or a Smartphone?" And the answer is always "depends on your needs if you need a data centric device with voice support or a voice centric device with data support". In your theory we will see sooner or later the new question "should I go with a Pocket PC with Windows Media or a 'Windows Media' with PDA support or with a Smartphone with Windows Media and what's with PPCPE and does the 'Windows Media' supports also phone and if not is it better to use 'Windows Media' with PPCE or SMP".

I think it becomes too much for the customer and the clear differentiation is gone like there was not a real sharp border for the user with Smart Displays and Tablet PCs (plus Pocket PCs).

You know what I mean? :?

Posted by Ramin on 11.01.04 - 00:59:10

I agree with you Arne- I'd rather carry a Pocket PC with "Media2Go" functionality than carry another separate device.  As it is, I already carry a Pocket PC, Smartphone, Tablet PC & Digital Camera...  I've not wanted a separate MP3 Player since my Pocket PC & Smartphone seemed to fulfill this role.

IMO, another separate device is bad idea - Microsoft should focus on enhancing the existing Pocket PC platform and make it simpler to use, while at the same time offering richer "Media Center" functionality on Pocket PC devices.

Posted by farnold on 12.01.04 - 04:20:26

Arne & Ramin,

I understand your thoughts - and in fact I think pretty much the same. But we all are PocketPC users. Think for a moment about people who don't have a PocketPC and are not interested in getting one - hard to imagine, mates, I know smile

The MS strategy is not so much thought for us. But it should open new markets.

What i.e. about all the people running around with a Walkman or Discman or MP3 player using it on the train, in the bus, at the beach. Why would MSFT want to develop a device that is too expensive and too complicated for them just because it carries all other PocketPC functions as well?

Or how about a TV? Do you think my mum and dad would want to have a fully functional PC in there. What for? They watch TV and that's about what they need - including a TV magazine of some kind and a bit of recording.

Or in your car? What do you need while driving? Phone, navigation and maybe SMS - but in addition controls about the car's function. That's a more efficient use than Word & Excel, isn't it?

Why should a reduced set of functions be able to run a microwave or a fridge or a coffee mashine? Not even I would want to have Messenger on my toilet, mates smile

And what about us all-inclusive guys then? We will quite soon learn that we have different requirements and need different devices to satisfy them. And it will be very normal that we don't even notice it. At the same time our beloved PocketPC will continue to exist and combine some - but not all - of these features.

Just my 2c



Posted by marc on 14.10.04 - 14:10:46

Having now got one of these new Portable Media Center's all I can say is WOW!

Much better than running anything on a Pocket PC in my opinion.

Marc Liron

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