Apple's FrontRow Versus Microsoft's Media Center -- It's Microsoft's Lead to Lose (AAPL, MSFT)

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Includes: AAPL, MSFT
by: The Stalwart

The Stalwart submits: Om Malik makes a good point- that Microsoft has so far made the "Media Center" just too hard to set up for the average user. If they could have just made a PC pluggable into a stereo or TV, with a dumbed down interface, then advertise the use, we'd probably already have more people using their PC's as media centers.

What Steve Jobs has done [with the new FrontRow product], and what Microsoft has not done. I have a HP Media Center at home, and I have spent countless weekends trying to play the beast work with the Comcast set-top box. The biggest problem is the smallest feature really - the damn IR Blaster - refuses to play nice. It fails every single time. I have done my darnest, but nothing. That my friends is the critical point - that ease of use is what Microsoft did not think about...

So what should Microsoft do? Two things. First release a Media Center XP Lite. Free. Basically help turn most of the newer PCs into simple devices for aggregating photos, watching DVDs, streaming music and playing back downloadable videos. They have the PC market share to make this happen.

I'm amazed how sometimes simple ideas are missed by advanced organizations, and that these simple ideas can trump some of the most advanced competition. Can we draw any parallels to the investment world anyone?

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