In his keynote address during the 2006 International CES, Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates announced three new partners, Toshiba America Inc., Tatung Co. and LG Electronics, delivering Windows Mobile-based Portable Media Centers this year and highlighted a mobile version of Vongo, the new movie service from Starz Entertainment Group LLC.
With the addition of full-length, popular movies and other video selections such as extreme sports and concerts from Vongo, there are now more than 100 companies providing collections of entertainment choices for owners of Microsoft Windows Mobile-based devices. Customers can enjoy songs or videos on the go, selecting from news highlights and sporting events to music videos and audio books from top brands such as Audible.com, MSNBC, Comedy Central, Cookie Jar Entertainment Inc., FOX Sports, MTV Networks, Napster and TiVo Inc.
The new devices being announced today include:
The Toshiba S Series gigabeat Portable Media Center includes an extended battery life for movies and a 2.4-inch high-resolution screen. The S Series will come in two varieties: The 30GB gigabeat S30 will have a suggested price of US$299, and the 60GB gigabeat S60 will have a suggested price of US$399. Both are scheduled to be available in March 2006.
The Tatung V620 Portable Media Center has a 20GB hard drive with a 3.5-inch QVGA (320x240) LCD screen for watching movies and television shows. Availability and pricing is scheduled to be announced in 2006.
The LG Electronics PM70 Portable Media Center has a 30GB hard drive that connects directly to a television to capture favorite music or shows immediately on the QVGA widescreen. Availability is scheduled for the first half of 2006
Built on Windows Mobile software, the Portable Media Center platform is designed so that device-makers can choose the features and form factors that are best for their customers.
On the desktop, Windows Media Player 10 makes it simple to synchronize music, video and pictures from any Windows XP-based PC to Windows Mobile-based devices. Portable Media Centers also synchronize with PCs running Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005.
New Portable Media Centers are smaller and offer extensive battery life. They also extend the media formats supported, now including new popular codecs, including native file support for Windows Media Video (WMV), Windows Media Audio (WMA), WMA Lossless, MP3, JPEG, DivX, MPEG2 and others.
Portable Media Centers also provide connectivity with Xbox 360, allowing people to control and play back their favorite music while they compete with friends and against opponents.