Microsoft Has A Dedicated Multimedia OS, Should Apple Follow?

An article at the Baltimore Sun by David Zeiler is examining Microsoftis Windows XP Media Center Edition and the possibility of Apple entering this emerging market. Traditionally, Apple examines a potential market closely before determining if it should enter it or not. For instance, Mr. Zeiler points out that despite seeming demand, Apple has ignored the PDA market since Steve Jobs axed the ground breaking Newton upon his return to the company, and has so far declined to enter the cell phone and tablet PC markets.

The article goes on to look at some of the reasons why Apple, if it enters the market at all, shouldnit try to emulate Media Center PCs, but instead create a different class of computer. From the Baltimore Sun:

Rather than simply imitate the Windows Media Center PC with a Mac version, Apple could develop an entirely new product, intuitive and elegant, that would draw upon the best features of the Media Center as well as digital video recorders like the TiVo.

In addition to a hard drive for TiVo-like storage, the device would be able to play and burn CDs and DVDs.

Such a hybrid device, at a cost preferably under $500, would not be a standalone Mac, but rather a bridge between the entertainment center and the Mac. The key would be the use of Appleis Airport Extreme wireless technology to link what Iill call the MediaStation – to one or more remote Macs.

The device would have standard audio and video ports to plug into a TV or a standard receiver in a home entertainment center. It would not have a separate monitor, but would generate menus on the TV screen accessible via a remote control.

The MediaStation would be able to access video content via a digital cable connection or over the Internet via Airport Extreme. Access to the iTunes Music Store would be built in as well. And an Apple Movie Store, as I suggested in a column a few months ago, would complete the package.

You can read the full article at the Baltimore Sunis Web site.