Windows Media Goes Wireless For Pocket PC

Microsoft Corp. has released Microsoft Windows Media Player for Pocket PC Technology Preview Edition. The new player delivers streamed wireless Windows Media-formatted audio and video to a portable device.

The Technology Preview Edition gives owners of Pocket PC devices from Compaq Computer Corp., Casio Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) the ability to stream and download Windows Media video and audio content.

“Consumers want their audio and video to be both mobile and delivered to them whenever they want,” said Dave Fester, general manager of the Digital Media Division at Microsoft. “By supporting wireless streaming, the new Windows Media Player for the Pocket PC is a major step forward in the development of Windows Media and helps realize our vision for digital media everywhere.”

Pocket PC owners will be able to download or stream video such as news clips and music videos as well as music from the Web directly on their Pocket PC, and even play back home movies they have edited using Microsoft Windows Movie Maker in Windows Millennium (Windows Me).

The product works with Microsoft Windows Media Services in Windows 2000 Server to enable wireless streaming and is compatible with IRDA, serial and 802.3 Ethernet, as well as new high-speed wireless networks including 802.11 wireless Ethernet (11 MB per second). Users also can play back audio and video files (at rates from 16 Kbps to 256 Kbps) that have already been downloaded onto the Pocket PC.

The product is available for download with the Compaq iPAQ Pocket PC. Other versions will be available for download in the next month for the HP Jornada and the Casio Cassiopeia Pocket PC models. The final version of the Windows Media Player for Pocket PC supporting streaming audio and video is scheduled to be available early next year.

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