Microsoft officially launches XP Media Centre

Software giant is showing its multimedia-friendly OS on new PCs from Hewlett-Packard.

Microsoft launched its Windows XP Media Centre Edition operating system at an event in New York yesterday, showing the software in PCs from Hewlett-Packard.

Windows XP Media Centre Edition can be operated via remote control, allowing consumers to use their PCs as the nerve center of their multimedia equipment. The operating system will let users watch DVD movies, manage digital audio and video files, and play, pause and record live television.

The launch event marks the North American availability of the software in three new HP desktops. The HP Media Centre PCs come with Intel's Pentium 4 processors and Nvidia's GeForce4 MX420 graphics card, and special keyboards for access to select entertainment applications. The PCs also feature five USB 2.0 ports and two IEEE 1394 ports for peripheral and video downloads, respectively.


The 873n model of the HP Media Centre PC line will be available through retail outlets such as Best Buy and CompUSA. It comes with a 2.53GHz Pentium 4 processor, 512MB of double data rate memory, a 120GB hard drive, and a DVD+R/+RW drive for an estimated retail price of $US1649.

The other models, the 863n and the 883n, are available direct from HP through its website. The 863n is the value-priced model, with a 2.4GHz Pentium 4 processor, 512MB of DDR memory, a 80GB hard drive, and a DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive for $US1349.

For consumers looking for a high-end option, HP is offering the 883n, which comes with a 2.66GHz Pentium 4, 512MB of DDR memory, a 120GB hard drive, and a DVD+R/+RW drive, for $US1999.

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