A day earlier than originally planned, Microsoft has shipped the last significant update for its standalone Windows XP Media Center line of operating systems. Update Rollup 2 (UR2) for Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) 2005, as the update is awkwardly called, is a minor but free update to the current Media Center version, and not a major upgrade. This is the first time in three years that Microsoft has not shipped a major Media Center upgrade, but the company has told me previously that it is now switching focus to the version of Media Center that will appear in several Windows Vista product editions.
Currently available only through MSDN Subscriber Downloads, XP MCE 2005 UR2 adds a number of new features, including a power management scheme called Away Mode, support for the HDTV Media Center Extender in the Xbox 360, and DVD burning enhancements, among others. I've already prepared an exhaustive review of this update, which I'll post to the SuperSite for Windows as soon as I get Microsoft's OK. Stay tuned.