Microsoft, Intel Look At Living Rooms

Personal-computer kingpins Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Intel Corp. (INTC) are angling for a more prominent position in the nation’s living rooms, with designs of enthroning the PC as the new centerpiece of home entertainment, Monday’s Wall Street Journal reported.

The two giants will detail their latest assault at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. There they plan to discuss a series of products that they say will make it easier to use PCs to organize movies, music and television shows while shuttling that media around the home. The announcements should also serve as a stepping stone in the two companies’ decade-long quest to embed Microsoft software and Intel microchips directly into televisions.

Traditional makers of everything from stereos to DVD players are fighting to defend their turf. What they fear most is the rise of a single PC, rather than gadgets designed by these companies, as the hub for controlling how consumers view photos, channel-surf or listen to music.

These companies believe their own devices will be easier and more enjoyable to use than the PC, which they view as a business tool that is prone to suffer from bugs, viruses and crashes.

The PC leaders are gaining momentum from the rapid transformation of music, photographs and movies into digital formats, which consumers are using computers to manage and manipulate. Hardware makers have already developed dozens of products to help transfer digital media from PCs to TVs and other devices around the home, often using wireless networks. The trend creates a new opportunity for versions of Microsoft Windows to become a navigation tool on TV screens.

Source: CNN Money, Dow Jones News Wire