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Microsoft Releases Consumer Rev of Windows XP

Microsoft on Tuesday launched the second edition of its consumer-oriented Windows XP Media Center Edition.

Called Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004, the operating system was designed in conjunction with hardware providers for integrated digital entertainment centers, facilitating music downloads and movie subscriptions among other entertainment-oriented features.

Hardware companies rolling out XP Media Center-based systems, some of which start at less than $1,000, include Dell, Gateway, HP, Sony and Toshiba.

Media Center is one of four current SKUs of Windows XP. The Windows XP launch saw two editions -- Professional for business and Home for consumers. Microsoft also offers a Tablet PC edition.

A replacement for the Windows XP generation of client operating systems is also in the works, but it is scheduled for a release in 2005 or later. That version, known by its code-name "Longhorn," is supposed to get its first major public preview at the end of October during Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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