Yesterday, Microsoft revealed that it will brand the Media2Go platform for mobile multimedia as Windows Mobile for Portable Media Centers and that devices based on the platform will ship in the second half of 2004, a full year later than originally expected. The Media2Go platform, unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2003 trade show in January, is basically a stripped-down version of the Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) software that runs on Windows CE .NET in small, handheld devices. Some analysts have described the devices, which provide digital-video, home-movie, digital-music, TV-show, and digital-photo slide show playback, as "video iPods."
"Just as Windows XP Media Center Edition set a whole new standard for enjoying entertainment on the PC, Portable Media Centers will do the same for portable devices," said Scott Horn, director of marketing for Microsoft's Embedded Devices Group. "Digital media technologies are radically changing how, when, and where people experience and share their entertainment. Excellent partners ... will help us enhance consumers' media experience by building products that make the digital-media content they love easily available to them on a portable device."
Today, Microsoft also unveiled some of the hardware partners that will work with the company to deliver the platform to consumers. Original design manufacturers (ODMs) AboCom Systems and Tatung will develop hardware designs to help manufacturers such as Creative Technology, iRiver, Samsung, Sanyo, and ViewSonic bring Portable Media Center devices to market.