These day’s it would appear that the front line for the battle of the tech giants has moved out of the board room and into the living room. With Microsoft’s Media Centre, Xbox 360, Apple’s iPod and now Intel’s Viiv, it would seem that the fight is now as much for the hearts and minds of the consumer as it is for the CIO.

Viiv (pronounced to rhyme with jive,) is Intel’s big consumer digital entertainment initiative. To put it simply the idea is that it would as a control for all forms of digital entertainment, be it music, movies or whatever. With this you’d be able to move a digital entertainment file seamlessly from a say a handheld device, to your pc and then perhaps watch it stream on your TV. To see what Intel have to say on the subject check out.

According to CNet, presently though many purchasers are finding it hard to differentiate with Viiv is actually giving them that they weren’t getting before from their boring old Window’s Media Centre. I’m sure that as time goes on Viiv will appear to be more compelling, though here in the UK it’s not yet would you call a must have product.

When I was growing up, it appeared that the technology that people had at home could quite easily outstrip what you there was at the office. My father had a Commodore Amiga, which he would let me load the occasional game onto, well truth be told, I’d occasionally let him do some work on it in between games of ‘Pirates.’ According to him, the Amiga was a far more powerful machine than whatever antediluvian device he was using at work.

It seemed apparent to him, for my father is an intelligent man, that before long the Amiga, along with many other home PC’s would make the leap from the home to the office. This for a variety of reasons never actually happened. What my father missed out on was the fact that operating system standards were moving towards a uniform platform, making hardware basically a commodity, and ensuring that proprietary consumer systems such as the Amiga would become isolated. These days, it’s more which applications you’re running rather than what there running on, and the same platform that you use in the office, is usually the one you have at home.

With the corporate market therefore now increasingly competitive and standardised, it’s no wonder that the likes of Microsoft, Intel etc are eagerly eyeing the home market, the next great horizon for continual upgrades. We might not have heard much in the UK about Viiv, but I’m sure we will.


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