New Windows Mobile-Based Portable Media Centers
Windows Mobile-Based Portable Media Centers Show Off Latest Features, Popular
Movies and Sleek New Devices | In his keynote address today at the 2006
International CES, Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill
Gates announced three new partners — Toshiba America Inc., Tatung Co. and LG
Electronics — delivering Windows Mobile-based Portable Media Centers this year
and highlighted a mobile version of Vongo, the new movie service from Starz
Entertainment Group LLC that offers premium full-length movies and other video
selections for playback on new Portable Media Centers. These next-generation
devices are packed with features such as extended battery life, support for new
higher-resolution displays and wide screens, direct audio/video recording, and
direct connections to digital cameras; prices begin at $299 (U.S.) MSRP. The
new devices and the mobile version of Vongo, coming first to Portable Media
Centers, will be available in early 2006.
According to JupiterResearch, 58 percent of online consumers
would prefer to watch full-length movies (owned or rented) on portable media
players and 23 percent of consumers would also be interested in watching
prerecorded television shows on such a device.1 Vongo gives people a
full-length and premium mobile-movie experience for Portable Media Centers, with
more than 1,000 first-run movies and video selections via a subscription
service that provides unlimited access for $9.99 (U.S.) per month, plus
additional pay-per-view movies from the largest provider of premium movie
services in the United States.
“Sleeker form factors, improved playback features and a new
subscription movie service show that Microsoft is taking the next step to give
people more choice in how they experience media on a portable device in a way
that fits their lifestyle,” said Pieter Knook, senior vice president of the
Entertainment & Devices Division at Microsoft. “We’ve worked closely with
our hardware and content partners to deliver the best options for people to
access their digital entertainment, anywhere at any time.”
With the addition of full-length, popular movies and other
video selections such as extreme sports and concerts from Vongo, there are now
more than 100 companies providing a diverse and compelling collection of
entertainment choices for owners of Microsoft® Windows Mobile-based devices.
Whether they want music to exercise by or the latest blockbuster to be
entertained in the airport, customers can enjoy their favorite songs or videos
on the go, selecting from news highlights and sporting events to music videos
and audio books from top brands such as Audible.com, MSNBC, Comedy Central,
Cookie Jar Entertainment Inc., FOX Sports, MTV Networks, Napster and TiVo Inc.
“We strongly believe that consumers want the convenience of
taking their movies with them wherever they go just like they do with their
music,” said Bob Greene, senior vice president of Advanced Services at Starz
Entertainment Group. “Portable Media Centers allow Vongo subscribers to easily
and securely transfer their downloaded movies to these great devices with a
robust digital rights management solution from Microsoft built in for
protecting the security of the content.”
Sleek Devices Packed With New Features
Key features in new devices being announced today include
The stylish and sleek Toshiba S Series gigabeat Portable Media Center
includes an extended battery life for movies and a 2.4-inch high-resolution
screen with more than 260,000 colors for a vivid and sharp picture. The S
Series will come in two varieties: The 30GB gigabeat S30 will have an MSRP of
$299 (U.S.), and the 60GB
gigabeat S60 will have an MSRP of $399 (U.S.). Both are scheduled to be
available in March 2006.
- The Tatung V620 Portable Media Center has a 20GB hard drive
with a 3.5-inch QVGA (320x240) LCD screen for watching up to five hours of
movies and television shows. Availability and pricing is scheduled to be
announced in 2006.
- The LG Electronics PM70 Portable Media Center has a 30GB
hard drive that connects directly to a television to capture favorite music or
shows immediately on the QVGA widescreen. Availability is scheduled for the
first half of 2006.
A Complete Entertainment Package
Built on Windows Mobile software, the Portable Media
Center platform is
designed so that device-makers can choose the features and form factors that
are best for their customers. Windows Media Player 10 makes it simple to
synchronize music, video and pictures from any Windows XP-based PC to Windows
Mobile-based devices. Portable Media Centers also synchronize well with PCs
running Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, software that accounted
for more than 47 percent of PC sales in December 2005, according to Current
Analysis. Next-generation Portable Media Centers provide these features.
- More power. New Portable Media Centers are smaller and offer
extensive battery life — keeping people entertained for several full-length
movies, not just a few short preview clips.
- Consumers’ content in their preferred format. Consumers can
get access to a greater variety of content with support for direct audio/video
recording and popular codecs, including native file support for Windows Media Video
(WMV), Windows Media Audio (WMA), WMA Lossless, MP3, JPEG, DivX, MPEG2 and
- Capturing memories. People can now quickly transfer and
capture their vacation memories on their Portable Media
Center without the need
for a PC. Once they are back home or at the office, people can transfer those
files back to the PC for permanent storage.
- Rocking the Xbox360. Portable Media Centers also provide new
levels of connectivity with Xbox 360, allowing people to control and play back
their favorite music while they compete with friends and against opponents.
New Windows Mobile Media
People using Windows Mobile-based devices have a wide
variety of content options for personalizing their digital experience on the
go. A new Windows Mobile Media portal, available today, will make it simpler to
get great content onto devices. This portal has a directory of Windows Mobile
content providers, media samples, third-party media applications and how-to
articles on topics from podcasting to loading a device with any television show
saved to a TiVo or Windows XP-based PC.
More information on Portable Media Centers can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/media.