<font size="3">Microsoft buffs up its Media Center
After years of being relegated to the office, the PC is making a new case for why it should be allowed to stay in the living room.
A key proponent in recent months has been Microsoft, whose Media Center edition of Windows XP turns a PC into a device that can play music or movies, record TV shows and show photos, all while being controlled via remote control. On Tuesday, Microsoft will try to bolster its position, offering an updated version of the software and new services, accompanied by a broader array of desktops and laptops that use the operating system.
As previously reported, Microsoft is making the debut of the new software and announcing the new partners at events in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and Redmond, Wash. Dell and Sony are expected to announce their first Media Center models, with Hewlett-Packard and Gateway among those announcing new editions of Media Center products. With the software upgrade, code-named Harmony, Microsoft has tried to address some of the critiques from its earliest customers and improve the overall stability of the operating system. Also, the software, which had been confined to North America and Korea, is expanding into Europe and further into Asia.
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