Been quiet around here

October 14, 2006

Things have been incredibly busy at work lately- so much so that I haven’t had any time to post here. I’l try to get better about that.

In other news, friends over in the eHome team are celebrating. Is it Vista related? Almost ;). They’re celebrating a major milestone – 20 million Windows XP Media Center PCs have now been sold. Some might recall that just last April, the stat was at 10 million. Talk about a ramp rate. By comparison TiVo has just over 2 million stand-alone units out there (which I also own and enjoy).

Speaking of Vista, I’ve started getting questions on when the right time is to buy a PC for Vista. My father is still hobbling along on the Windows XP PC he bought 5 years ago right after the launch of XP (and he’s never reinstalled). The hard drive is starting to go, but we’re using chewing gum to keep it going. My neighbor’s PC also just died and he’s hobbling along on an old PC of mine right now. Buying a new “Vista-ready” PC is pretty easy when you see the logo, and I expect there will be some pretty amazing deals this holiday season.

Which brings me back to Media Center. Friends over in eHome-land told me that they worked will all the Media Center PC manufacturers to make sure any MCE PC sold this holiday season will be Vista Premium-ready. So if you have to buy, look for the Vista logo, or just get an MCE PC.

One last comment on Vista for home users- I’ve noticed that if you connect a Vista desktop to a UPS, the PC will run in “Balanced” mode, just like a laptop. At first I thought this was a bad idea, but then I realized that for the overwhemling majority, this is fine- and a more energy friendly way to do things.

I’ll write more this weekend- thoughts on using a TiVo Series3, and taking Flight Simulator X (Final release) for a whirl.

6 responses to Been quiet around here

  1. 

    Add one major caveat to that – MCE machines you buy now will not work with digital cable in the future. Only new CableLabs certified machines will work with Vista and digital cable so any and all digital cable subscribers should probably hold off until new PCs are available.

  2. 

    Sorry, should have said "native digital cable via CableCard". MCE 2005 will of course work with digital cable but not provide direct digital tuning or HDTV. It will work, but Vista will work *way* better with digital cable to the point where I would advise digital cable subscribers to hold off a couple more months until they can get a CableCard capable vista PC.

  3. 

    Yeah, that’s the big thing I’m holding off for. I’d really like to upgrade, and I’d really like to build an MCE box, but having to get a certified box to be able to do cablecard throws in a big monkeywrench. I’d love to be able to build a box now with normal tuners, and then add a cablecard tuner for hd later. But no 😦 Anybody have any leads on when OEM’s will be releasing a (hopefully reasonably cheap) certified box with a couple of cablecard slots?

  4. 

    I wish Microsoft pushed Media Center more in TV ads and Magazines and Radio, Media Center I think is probably the best media pc soltion out there but still hardly anybody knows about it, best buy and others do a bad job showing people the differences and have them right next to regular PC’s, I wish MS would spend money on ads like apple does and get people to know there is a really great product out there.

    Unfortunatly the 20 million media center pcs you speak of (the majority)consist of pc’s running mce but no tuner and the person not even knowing that the media center application is there. But again I think this is microsoft’s fault and the sales vendors for not pushing the info out there to the average consumer.

    Hopefully they will do a better job with Vista Media Center, they should run infomercials showing the cababilites like they do msn tv

    I actually see tons of Microsoft Ads that are very cool on youtube, but I never see them on TV out in the public?

    why?

  5. 

    I think that it is a bit unfair to compare the 20 million to 2 million Tivos. I would estimate that 97% of all those shiny new 20 million mce pcs are not being used for the mce feature. While the people who buy the tivo, know what they are getting. Until Vista shows me something that I do not currently get from my existing mce, there is no reason to upgrade.