Microsoft has released the final version of Windows Media Player 11 for Windows XP, which brings a new user interface, greater online store integration and improved navigation for larger music libraries.
Microsoft is hoping that releasing Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Media Player 11 to current Windows XP users will encourage those users to get familiar with the programs, which will be even more robust in Windows Vista, due for consumer release in January 2007.
The new player can be downloaded here.
Media Player 11 is also integrated with MTV Networks URGE music service, giving consumers access to the URGE catalog of more than 110,000 artists and 2 million songs.
More than 200 portable and home networking devices worldwide will work with Windows Media Player 11, while hundreds of online music and video services and radio stations worldwide are designed to work with the new player.
Microsoft is touting the following as key features of Windows Media Player 11:
• A visually driven experience using thumbnail and album art, with customization capabilities for a more personalized interaction.
• Improved device experience with new shuffle sync and reverse sync options, device exploration using the library view, and help icons that ensure syncing and burning of rights-managed content.
• Simplified navigation capabilities, enhanced shortcut options, and dedicated category views for all media types, including music, photos and video.