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RealTime IT News

Microsoft Displays Networked Home

Microsoft Corp. Wednesday unveiled the Microsoft Home in New York, a loft in the Tribeca neighborhood outfitted with a complete home network, designed to showcase the company's current technology as well as offer a sneak peak at some of the technologies on their way over the next year.

The 8,000 square-foot loft -- with kitchen, living room, dining room, master bedroom, kids' bedroom, teen bedroom, home office and patio -- has broadband connectivity, and uses a Home Phoneline Networking Alliance (PNA) for connecting devices over existing phone lines and a wireless network for parts of the home with no phone lines. Microsoft said it features more 25 examples of the latest software-based technologies and services.

"Our idea was to create a home that people would view and think, 'Wow, I can do that,'" said Rick Belluzzo, executive vice president of the Consumer Division at Microsoft. "We wanted to help people see how technologies are becoming an important part of everyday living, and how this trend will evolve over the next few years."

Microsoft worked with a variety of industry partners to create the home.

"Critical to the design was the importance of showing affordable products that help people manage their lives without sacrificing convenience or fun," the company said.

Some of the technologies on display include:

  • Ultimate TV, a service that enables users to surf the Web, pause, rewind, and digitally record up to 35 hours of programming -- even two programs at once -- through their televisions
  • MSN Companion, an Internet appliance that allows users to surf the Web
  • Windows ME, the latest version of the Windows operating system, which enables home networking and allows users to control the home's heating, lighting and stereo, create digital music play lists, engage in interactive gaming, even watch television and edit home movies
  • Pocket PC, a PDA powered by Windows CE, works with the wireless home network to offer broadband Internet connectivity, can store and play digital music, and can even act as a personal library using the Microsoft Reader application.

A virtual tour of the Microsoft Home in New York is available.