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In a bid to popularize computers running Windows XP Media Center operating system and also to become more accepted in the living rooms, Microsoft unveiled Tuesday its new Remote Keyboard for Windows XP Media Center Edition. In addition, the firm revealed a bundle consisting a keyboard, a mouse and photo editing software.

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The Remote Keyboard for Media Center is fully tailored for those using personal computers (PCs) in their living rooms: it has built-in pointing device and allows to easily control functionality of a Media Center PC; switch between radio, TV, video, etc.; control the volume; type a message; or point and click. The device is compact and thin, which allows it to be easily stowed when not in use to help get rid of clutter. The Remote Keyboard for Media Center computers also features backlit buttons, which enables it to operate even in dark environments. It is unclear whether the keyboard uses radio frequency, or infrared to transfer signals to the PC.

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Wireless Optical Desktop 5000 includes a wireless keyboard, mouse and photo-editing software that makes it a snap to access, edit and share digital photos on a PC. The keyboard comes equipped with PhotoCenter, featuring one-touch access to most-used photo-editing functions and Zoom Slider to zoom into and out of photos. The sleek wireless optical mouse is a companion to the keyboard with its new Magnifier tool, which enlarges any section of the screen for easy viewing and editing. With the inclusion of new Digital Image Standard 2006 software, this integrated hardware and software solution delivers all the tools needed to customize photos while reducing the number of editing steps, Microsoft believes.

Each of the announced products will be available in September, 2005, for estimated retail price of about $105.

“We create hardware for how and where people use their PC. 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,” said Tom Gibbons, general manager of the Hardware Group at Microsoft.


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