Tuesday, March 27, 2007

New Blow to Vista? HP Drops Their Media Center Line

Is this the biggest blow to Vista since Chris Pirillo's breakup last month? HP is dropping its version of Media Center rather than migrate it to the new OS. The HP Digital Entertainment Center was the slickest package for making a PC fit into the living room.

CE Pro has the news, including this full-throated make-nice statement from product manager Doug Robert: "It doesn't mean Media Center isn't going to be successful. It's just that we're discontinuing development." (Translation: "It's not you; it's me.")

Mickeleh's Take: This is not so much a slam at Vista as a recognition that asking people to pay the price of a full PC to sit next to the TV is hookah-vision marketing. A Mac Mini, maybe, but not an $1800 to $3000 behemoth. What you want near the TV is a client device such as Apple TV, Xbox, SlingCatcher, or the Netgear Digital Entertainer EVA8000. (memo to Netgear: hire a naming consultant.)

HP, meanwhile, is pursuing a new vision for getting digital media from the PC to the TV: but first you have to buy an HP MediaSmart TV...

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