Microsoft offers a peek at new 'Pika' Media Center Extender devices

Summary:Microsoft is starting to share a few more details about the "Pika" Media Center Extenders being built by a number of its consumer-electronics partners. The official Pika launch (as well as the launch of new Internet TV functionality for Vista Home Premium and Vista Ultimate) will be September 27 in New York.

Microsoft is starting to share a few more details about the "Pika" Media Center extenders being built by a number of its consumer-electronics partners.

From Microsoft's September 5 press release:

"The new Extender devices, which will be unveiled later this month in a variety of innovative form factors and price points, unleash the pictures, music, video content and live TV from a PC running Windows Vista Home Premium or Windows Vista Ultimate for viewing and listening on a big-screen TV display for the ultimate entertainment solution."

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has mentioned these version 2 Media Center extenders, which are codenamed "Pika," a couple of times this year, but Microsoft has declined to share any further information until now.

Currently, many consumers run Xbox 360s as extenders for Windows Media Center. The Pika generation of extenders will include products from Cisco/Linksys, D-Link and Niveus Media, among others, according to Microsoft.

Sounds like the DigitalLife show in New York on September 27 will be the "official" lift-off for Extenders for Windows Media Center, as well as new Internet TV functionality for Vista Home Premium and Vista Ultimate. Stay tuned.

Topics: Microsoft, Windows

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Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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