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The irony of Microsoft’s decision to release a keyboard for Media Center PCs seems lost in the company’s announcement of its latest wireless accessories.

Designed to work with a remote control, the Windows XP Media Center Edition operating system is slowly finding its way into Australian lounge rooms.


Click to enlarge
The Microsoft Media Center keyboard.
Although the Microsoft Remote Keyboard for Windows XP Media Center Edition is still in keeping with the company’s “ten foot” vision of sofa surfing, the introduction of a keyboard to the Media Center highlights that people using a PC need more than a remote.
The neat thing about using the new Microsoft device to run your Media Center is that it bundles the remote, keyboard and mouse capabilities into one that presumably won’t fall down the back of the couch.
With a recommended retail price of $199.95 the controller makes it easier to do things like type an message or email and navigate a web page with the mouse.
“We’re dedicated to constantly making digital experiences easier and more fun,” said Jeremy Hinton, Hardware Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft Australia. “With this in mind, we designed two new devices to enhance the digital entertainment activities people are now enjoying, such as playing movies on their Media Center and editing digital photos.”

The second device Hinton refers to is the new Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop 5000. The keyboard mouse set is targeted at digital camera owners and includes a copy of Microsoft’s Digital Image Standard 2006 photo-editing software.

The Desktop 5000 features one-touch access to most-used photo-editing functions and Zoom Slider to zoom into and out of photos, while the mouse has its own magnifier tool. The Wireless Optical Desktop 5000 has an RRP of $179.95.

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