The lucky few selected to beta test Windows XPs new Freestyle technology have a new toy to play with. Microsoft shipped to Freestyle testers a beta version of the multimedia interface designed to be used with a remote control from across the room.
"The Freestyle beta release kit will include a PC and all the necessary equipment required to setup and run Freestyle, along with support and bug reporting information," Microsoft beta coordinators wrote in an e-mail to testers. "As a reminder, you will need to provide a monitor that can support 1024 x 768 resolution."
Freestyle turns a Windows XP PC into a virtual media center, allowing a user to access music, video and photos at a distance from anywhere in the room. Freestyle sports an extra-large user interface with simple layouts and flexible menus.
While Freestyle will ship with Windows XP Service Pack 1 in late summer, the technology will only be accessible to OEMs building Freestyle-enabled PCs. Hewlett-Packard, NEC and Samsung have already signed on to build Freestyle hardware.
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