"That actually leads to my next question about home entertainment and the PC. Microsoft has a lot of behind the scenes initiatives right now, but what do you think the relationship is between the Media Center PC and then something like Foundation, Microsoft's software for set-top boxes?
Let me try to be succinct about this. In the home you're going to have a variety of devices. So you'll have a set-top box which you can think of as kind of the simplest device. It will clearly be able to handle digital rights management and deal with high definition digital video. And then you'll have something like a video game that will be a superset of that. And so, for example, Xenon is more powerful than any next-generation set-top box and it can be used as a set-top box, but obviously it can do a lot more than that; you can run the entertainment and other software there.
Then you have a Media Center PC that's even beyond that in terms of storage and the kind of ecosystem that exists in the PC world. And so in the case of the set-top box you typically would store the video back on the server, either the Media Center server in the home, or the your video provider server back at the head-end. And that does have an advantage over sticking a hard disk on everything because you don't even have to think about recording something [ahead of time]. The old shows are just there. There are various rights issues to work out on this, but we've got the user interface and IPTV gives you the ability to watch a show anytime you want without having planned that before the show's aired or having this hard disk in your living room. You shouldn't have to have that."
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
The Engadget Interview: Bill Gates, Part 2 - Engadget - www.engadget.com /
The Engadget Interview: Bill Gates, Part 2 - Engadget - www.engadget.com / - More from Engadget's interview with Bill Gates as he sheds some more light on his vision of the device ecosystem found within the home...