Microsoft seeks new Windows Media Center testers

Summary:Microsoft is in the midst of a quest for new testers for some kind of new Windows Media Center product, which may or may not be connected to "Fiji," the next version of Windows Media Center Edition (MCE).

Microsoft is in the midst of a quest for new testers for some kind of new Windows Media Center product, which may or may not be connected to "Fiji," the next version of Windows Media Center Edition (MCE).

Late last week, Microsoft posted to its Connect private beta-tester site a "Windows Media Center Tester Application" survey, sources said. Microsoft is seeking a pool of testers for some new client-based product and is closing the tester application process this Friday, February 1, sources said.

One tester said he believes the survey is for Fiji, known these days as "MCE+1." Microsoft officials would not confirm whether the survey is aimed at lining up Fiji testers. All they'd say (via a statement from a corporate spokeswoman, was:

"We are constantly developing and testing a variety of products. Asking for customer feedback is an important part of product development, ensuring that we're moving in the right direction."

Microsoft initially sought testers for Fiji last spring. It's not clear whether any of the selected testers ever received any Fiji builds. Last anyone heard, Fiji was looking like a late 2008 deliverable.

The new MCE tester survey asks about testers' experiences with managing photos, video and music, sources said.

One survey recipient said that he found the questions about system hardware interesting.

"To me, these mean one of two things. Either Microsoft knows the new software will have higher system requirements than the current Media Center, or they are trying to determine how well the software will run on various hardware. I also found the questions on audio interesting, as they suggest that Microsoft may be trying to tweak performance in this area," he said.

Anyone out there heard anything new/more about Fiji/MCE+1? Any other thoughts/guesses about what kinds of new MCE products for which Microsoft is seeking testers?

Topics: Software, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, 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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