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WinInfo Daily UPDATE, October 13, 2004

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In the News

- XP Reloaded: Microsoft Launches Windows XP MCE 2005
- XP Reloaded: WMP 10 Mobile Ships
- Microsoft Issues Scary Number of October Security Fixes

==== In the News ====

by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

XP Reloaded: Microsoft Launches Windows XP MCE 2005

Yesterday, at a gala launch event in Hollywood, California, Microsoft publicly unveiled Windows XP Media Center Edition (XP MCE) 2005, unleashing the second wave of XP Reloaded releases, which Microsoft calls Digital Entertainment Anywhere. Companies such as Dell, Gateway, HP, Sony, and Toshiba are releasing new computers based on Microsoft's latest multimedia-oriented OS. Additionally, HP and other companies are releasing Media Center Extender devices, set-top boxes that extend the Media Center experience to other TVs in the home.
"Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 is at the heart of Microsoft’s vision to offer people around the world the best in complete, connected entertainment experiences," Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates said. "Together with our partners, we are truly revolutionizing digital entertainment on the PC."
XP MCE 2005 is available only on new Media Center PCs and won't be sold at retail or made available from Microsoft in an upgrade package for previous owners. However, Microsoft has made the software available to PC makers to distribute to previous buyers. Those companies will distribute the full installation version to customers. HP has already announced plans to do so, and I'm contacting other Media Center PC makers to see what their plans are.
XP MCE 2005 includes an amazing array of improvements over earlier versions, including better picture quality, multiple tuner support, a movie guide for finding which movies are playing on your TV system, integrated CD and DVD burning, photo and music acquisition capabilities, and more. For the full rundown on XP MCE 2005, visit my exhaustive review on the SuperSite for Windows.

XP Reloaded: WMP 10 Mobile Ships

As part of its Digital Entertainment Anywhere launch event yesterday, Microsoft unveiled Windows Media Player (WMP) 10 Mobile, a new media player jukebox for Pocket PCs and Windows Mobile-based Smartphones. Primarily available for a new generation of portable devices based on Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition (SE), device makers will offer WMP 10 Mobile as an upgrade for select recent models.
"Today's announcements not only introduce exciting new devices and services, but also bring to life entirely new scenarios for consumers, \[including\] taking subscription music on the go," Senior Vice President of the Windows Client Business Will Poole said. "What's great for consumers is they now have all this choice without having extra complexity."
WMP 10 Mobile visually resembles the desktop version of WMP 10, with a nice Energy Blue theme and an integrated media library. It also features compatibility with the many Windows Media Audio (WMA) and Windows Media Video (WMV) online services that are now available, including Napster, MSN Music, and Audible e-Books. WMP 10 Mobile is currently the only software for Smartphones and PDAs that supports subscription music services based on Microsoft's Windows Media Digital Rights Management (DRM) platform. Existing users of Dell Axim X30 and HP iPAQ rx3000 Pocket PC devices will be able to upgrade to WMP 10 Mobile within 60 days; other Pocket PC users running Windows Mobile 2003 SE should contact their device makers for upgrade information. Dell also just unveiled the stunning Axim X50 Pocket PC, which features a VGA screen and a powerful 624MHz processor. That device ships with WMP 10 Mobile pre-installed.
For more information about WMP 10 Mobile, refer to my review on the SuperSite for Windows.

Microsoft Issues Scary Number of October Security Fixes

Halloween came early for Microsoft yesterday, when the software giant chose trick over treat and issued a whopping 22 security fixes and 11 security bulletins. The fixes were all part of the company's regularly scheduled monthly security fix release and constitute the set of fixes for October 2004.
Several of the flaws that the release fixes are rated critical, the most severe rating Microsoft allocates. The critical fixes apply to various Windows versions from Windows NT 4.0 through Windows Server 2003, including Windows XP. The other flaws are rated important and affect various Windows versions, Microsoft IIS, and Microsoft Excel.
Given the number of flaws, I recommend that you make sure Automatic Updates is running or visit Windows Update immediately. If you're interested in the gruesome details, Microsoft has more information on its security Web site. Boo!

==== Announcement ====

(from Windows IT Pro and its partners)

Join Itzik Ben-Gan, William Vaughn, and Gert Drapers in Brussels!

Learn from SQL Server Magazine experts at Europe's premiere SQL Server event--Brussels SQL Server Day on October 26. Join Microsoft and SQL Server Magazine for a free, full-day event that gives SQL Server users the tools they need to unleash the power of SQL Server 2000, deploy SQL Server Express, and get ready for SQL Server 2005. Register now!

==== Events Central ====

(A complete Web and live events directory brought to you by Windows IT Pro: )

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Attend this free Web seminar and learn what questions to ask when selecting an integrated fax solution, discover how an integrated fax solution is more efficient than traditional faxing methods, and discover how to select the fax technology that's right for your organization. Register now!

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