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Microsoft and Intel team to conquer the living room

Marketing push on Media Centre machines

Microsoft and Intel are joining forces to conquer living rooms in the USA and make further inroads into the coveted consumer electronics space.

The two companies on 8 November plan to launch a joint consumer-electronics marketing campaign aimed at selling PCs with Intel processors running Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005.

The "Digital Joy" campaign includes commercials on TV and in movie theatres as well as a website and special living-room setups in 38 malls in and around large cities where shoppers can try out systems supplied by HP, according to the two companies.

The campaign is set to run through December and will cost "tens of millions of dollars", said an Intel spokeswoman. The tab will be split between Intel and Microsoft, she said.

Windows XP Media Center Edition is a premium version of Windows XP, designed to make the PC the media and entertainment hub for the home, traditionally the turf of consumer electronics makers such as Sony Corp.

Microsoft introduced the 2005 version of Media Center Edition in October and is positioning the software as its best operating system for consumers. In addition to traditional PC tasks, the system can serve music, pictures, video and live television to portable devices, stereos and TVs. Users can use Media Center-based PCs with a traditional monitor and with a remote control and a special user interface on their TV.


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