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January 23, 2003—In this issue:
1. NEWS AND VIEWS
- Microsoft Debuts WMP Add-Ons Site
- Reorganization Elevates Will Poole to Windows Chief
- Catch the Microsoft Mobility Tour—Time is Running Out!
- New! News, Tips, and More to Keep Your Network Humming
3. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
1. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected])
Yesterday, Microsoft announced wmplugins.com, a new central clearinghouse for enhancements to Windows Media Player (WMP) 9 Series for Windows XP. The site features more than 100 player enhancements from 20 companies and Microsoft and highlights a new extensibility model that makes creating add-ons much easier than previous WMP releases did. The enhancements include new visualizations, skins, power toys, and other add-ons. The WMP 9 Series enhancements are available for free download today (see the URL below).
"We are incredibly impressed with the quality and range of plug-ins already available from the development community for WMP 9 Series," said Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division. "Now Windows XP customers have one easy place to find out how they can get the most out of these exciting new enhancements."
The new WMP 9 Series enhancements include:
- TweakMP Powertoy for Windows XP—This new plug-in offers easy access to some of the player's more advanced settings, including queue-it-up configuration, enabling and disabling of automatic volume leveling for CD burning, enabling and disabling of automatic CD playback on insertion when the player is open, and more advanced control of full-screen options and animations. Tweak MP also appears to fix one of my few complaints about WMP 9 Series; it adds more control over the way you create names for ripped audio files.
- Official Xbox Live skins—New skins include enhancements for WMP 9 Series such as cross-fading and equalizer settings. The official Xbox Live Plus! Party Mode also adds an additional skin for XP Plus! Digital Media Edition (DME).
- Windows Media 9 Series Viz for Windows XP—These new 3-D visualizations include an interactive equalizer set on a 3-D liquid pool that moves to the currently playing music; Picture It! Visualization II, which turns your media player into an animated picture gallery; and Softie the Snowman II, visualizations that feature 3-D enhancements and more animation, all set to a wintry mood.
In addition, enhancements from third-party companies such as Anark, CyberLink, InterVideo, QSound Labs, and Sonic are available on the site today. Microsoft says that enhancements from Ahead Software, AnalogX, Dolby Laboratories, and others will be available soon. For more information, visit the wmplugins.com Web site.
Microsoft implemented a minor reorganization yesterday that elevated Digital Media Division General Manager Will Poole to the newly created position of senior vice president of the Windows Client Business. Poole will report directly to Brian Valentine, senior vice president of the Windows Division. The promotion gives Poole responsibility for all Windows desktop versions, the Windows eHome division, the Windows Digital Media Division, and the Tablet PC.
The move also highlights Microsoft's increasing emphasis on digital media in its desktop products. Poole guided the successful launch of such market-leading products as Windows Media 9 Series, Windows Movie Maker 2, Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE), and XP Plus! Digital Media Edition (DME), which together have cemented Microsoft's position as a leader in the digital-media space.
Poole's promotion was the only major move in this reorganization. The company also hired former Sega executive Peter Moore to fill the new position of corporate vice president of retail sales and marketing. Moore will oversee retail business in the Home and Entertainment Division, which includes Xbox.
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Networking UPDATE brings you the how-to tips and news you need to implement and maintain a rock-solid networking infrastructure. We'll explore interoperability solutions, hardware (including servers, routers, and switches), network architecture, network management, network security, installation technology, network training, and WAN disaster recovery. Subscribe (at no cost!) at
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