Intel have released a full specification list for Viiv-compliance, which explicitly states Microsoft’s Media Center Edition is essential for Viiv capability.

Many had speculated that Microsoft’s absence from Viiv’s launch yesterday meant that there had been a falling out between the two companies. However, Intel said that Microsoft is an integral part of the new platform.

“We’ve chosen Windows Media Center as what we think is the best software”, said Dan Anderson, public relations manager of Intel.

“It’s dependent on software now. But it’s really a question for Microsoft, they have a Viiv- ready program. What we are launching is as much a new way of doing things as it is a specific piece of hardware”, Anderson said.

However, when Windows Vista is released later this year, a new version dubbed ‘Viiv 1.5’, will be ready to support it. This suggests that the Viiv specification would need to change to incorporate different operating systems.

Anderson was unable to comment on whether this meant Apple machines would ever achieve Viiv compliance, and added that Intel ‘didn’t have any desire’ to release their own media centre software.

Anderson also added that customers don’t need to use the onboard sound and vision to be Viiv compliant: “It’s a choice issue, we have a certain set of specifications to make sure people get a good experience, but there’s room for modifications. If they want to add a video card and sound card there’s nothing stopping them”, he said

The full list of Viiv specifications is as follows:
·         Intel dual-core processors: Intel Pentium D processor, Intel Pentium processor Extreme Edition, or Intel Core Duo
·         The Intel 945 Express Chipset family, the Intel 955X Express Chipset, Intel 975X Express Chipset family, plus ICH7-DH or ICH7-MDH
·         Intel PRO/1000 PM or Intel PRO/100 VE/VM network connection 
·         Required support for 5.1 (and up to 7.1) surround sound audio
·         Intel Quick Resume Technology Drivers that will enable consumers to instantly turn on and off the PC like at TV with the touch of a button (after initial boot-up, when enabled)
·         Intel Matrix Storage technology for increased storage performance enhanced protection for valuable digital memories when multiple hard drives are included
·         Graphics driver (for integrated graphics platforms only)
·         Media shell that enables consumers to easily enjoy their content using a remote control while sitting about 10 feet away from their PC or TVs
·         Operating system: Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Update Rollup 2.

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