A Market for the
Platform"> But there does appear to be at least something of a market for the platform as an audio-visual aide, said Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates Inc. "It makes sense in the boardroom," Kay said. "I could sort of imagine that in Ogilvy & Mather style ad companies, high-end financial companies, the corporate headquarters of pharmaceutical and oil companiesI could see that as being a cool thing to do. This would be part of your impressive corporate image."Although its unclear if business Media Centers might catch on, some of the reasons Media Centers increased in popularity among consumers could resonate with corporations, another analyst said. Last summer, for example, Microsoft dropped a requirement that called for PCs sold with the operating system to also include a TV tuner. The change allowed PC makers to cut the price of Media Center desktops. The move also placed more emphasis on the multimedia management aspect of Media Center, versus its ability to show and record TV programs, said Richard Shim, an analyst with International Data Corp. of Framingham, Mass. Thus entry-level Media Center desktops, which once cost thousands,
now sell for around $600, sans TV tuners. The lower prices make them more appealing to consumers and possibly even businesses, Shim said.
"Truth be told, you probably dont need a TV turner [in the boardroom], but at least you have the OS that allows for media to be centrally stored and distributed an accessed," he said. But, he cautioned, "Its hard enough to walk into a boardroom and expect your PowerPoint presentation to work. This adds another layer."
Despite Microsofts current view on corporate Media Centers, the machines might eventually get a boost from it.
Click here to read more about Media Center shipments.
Vista, the forthcoming new version of Windows, is expected to offer a major update in Media Center capabilities, developers have said. A version of the OS that includes a mix of corporate and multimedia features, combining things like beefed-up support for networking with Media Center capabilities, is also expected to come out.
Some PC makers will offer that version of Vista to businesses, in effect setting them up with corporate Media Centers, a PC industry observer predicted.
Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.
Thus the key features of a corporate media center would include the ability to quickly access multimedia and launch applications using a remote control, while making a presentation. The machines would be particularly useful in an area where numerous people were assembled and the data could be projected onto a large screen or shown on a big television, Kay said.