Microsoft Canada today announced it will unveil two new hardware devices designed to help Canadians access their PC-based entertainment. Recent studies have found Canadians are ready to bring their PCs into the living room. Over half of Canadians already find their PC helps keep them entertained, and increasing numbers are downloading music, movies and even favourite TV shows for their enjoyment.* To help Canadians get even more from their PC experience, Microsoft is creating innovative and easy-to-use hardware that puts digital entertainment at their fingertips.

For Windows® XP-based Media Center PC owners, Microsoft Hardware has developed the first three-in-one control center to help them take full advantage of the entertainment capabilities of their PC. Combining the functionality of a remote, keyboard and mouse into one, this sleek unit allows easy access to music, video, recorded or live TV and movies on the PC, all from the comfort of the sofa.

For digital camera owners, Microsoft will also introduce a mouse, keyboard and digital image software suite that will help even the most novice users turn their computer into a virtual darkroom. With digital cameras expected to comprise over 80 per cent of all camera sales this year,** more consumers are looking for simple ways to manage, edit and view their digital photos.

“Today, people are using their PCs for more than just productivity. We’re also using them for creative expression, communication and recreation,” said Greg Barber, vice president of Microsoft Canada Home and Entertainment Division. “With this in mind, Microsoft’s Hardware group has focused on how people are actually using their PCs. These two new devices will help enhance the digital entertainment activities people are already enjoying, such playing movies or music on their Media Center and editing digital photos.”

More Control, Less Complexity

New Microsoft® Remote Keyboard for Windows XP Media Center Edition enables greater interaction and control of a Media Center PC compared with a regular remote. The first of its kind, this three-in-one device makes it easy to turn up the volume, type a message, or point and click with fully integrated remote, keyboard and mouse capabilities.

Remote Keyboard for Windows XP Media Center Edition features a sleek design to match the living room, and its compact size enables it to be easily stowed when not in use. With smart features including a Media Center green button and backlit buttons, this device makes using a Media Center PC even easier.

Cut, Crop, Click

For people looking for a simple way to get more creative with their digital photos, the Wireless Optical Desktop 5000 makes it a snap to access, edit and share digital photos by combining a wireless keyboard and mouse with photo-editing software. The keyboard features PhotoCenter, a combination of hot keys that provide one-touch access to the most-used photo-editing functions and a Zoom Slider, which allows you to zoom in and out of photos easily. The sleek wireless optical mouse is a picture-perfect companion to the keyboard and comes with a new Magnifier tool, which enlarges sections of the screen for easy viewing and editing. Along with the Microsoft® Digital Image Standard 2006 software package, this integrated hardware and software solution delivers all the tools needed to customize photos quickly and easily.

Pricing and Availability

The new products introduced today will be widely available by September 2005 for the following estimated retail prices1:
• Remote Keyboard for Windows XP Media Center Edition: $139 CND
• Wireless Optical Desktop 5000: $139 CND

Both the Remote Keyboard for Windows XP Media Center Edition and the Wireless Optical Desktop 5000 will be available in both French and English.