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Gates Keynote Features Digital Entertainment

Dow Jones reports, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates unveiled an array of new products and services Wednesday night as he claimed the age of digital entertainment is taking hold among consumers around the world.

The time is right to enhance the music, movie, photography and other digital services people now expect when they take their computers, cell phones and handheld devices online, Gates said during a major address in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Gates said that Windows Vista Media Center personal computers, from manufacturers such as Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Gateway Inc., would be ready for the 2006 holiday season. Media Center PCs have extra features to simplify their use of digital music, photos and video. During December 2005, 47 percent of desktop PCs sold in the U.S. were Media Center computers running pre-Vista versions of the operating system.

The new Vista Media Centers will allow consumers to play television programming on a TV set without the set-top boxes that cable companies generally distribute with their services.

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