Rumors Out on the MCE 2006 Beta

Want MCE 2006 Information?: Chris Lanier links a Neowin post with some of the first leaks on where MCE 2006 is headed. Although the content of Neowin’s post is still on Chris’ site, it appears that Neowin has already taken down the post for reasons that are unclear at present. Just to make sure that the content is out there in case Chris also pulls it off, here goes:

In the third look at the future of current Microsoft technologies we take a look at where Windows Media Center Edition is heading.

This year will see the release of a small update for Windows Media Center Edition 2005. Bringing the Media Center Edition version up to v4.0. The update is due to beta in March and last approximately 4 months until it RTMs. There will be a Beta 1, Beta 2, RC0, RC1 before Release to Manufacturing.

The update is currently at M1 stage awaiting escrow for Beta 1. Code named Emerald the update is expected to Improve the following:

Premium TV

* Native digital cable

* Content Protection

* HD on Xenon

* Improve burning (DRM, network, Hi-def, DVD-RAM)

Scale-up MCX

* MCX integrated into Xenon

* UI Parity w/ PC (remote rendering on Xenon)

* MCX on WinCE clients (Babylon, TV2 as stretch goal)

* Bobsled feature parity integrated into 1 partner device (e.g. Linksys, Dlink)


* Playback reliability

* Running 3rd party apps out of proc

* Address top usability issues

* Platform Security

More Locales

* Additional languages and locales

Looking deep into the future for 2006, Microsoft are planning a Media Center v5.0. Currently code named Diamond the release will rely upon Longhorn Premium and Longhorn Ultimate. These two editions of Longhorn are expected to include v5.0 of Media Center. Current dates are following the same pattern as the Longhorn schedule I posted recently.