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Interactive Gift Guide: Microsoft Products Ready for the Home this Holiday


With the holiday season now upon us, it’s prime-time for technology buying and gift-giving. Journalists covering consumer trends for the coming holiday season can use the interactive gift guide to learn more about some of the many products available from Microsoft and industry partners.

Gadgets are on Everyone’s Wish List

According to a study conducted by the Solutions Research Group, three out of four US consumers count at least one “digital lifestyle” product on their holiday wish lists, and Windows Vista-based PCs rank among the most desirable items. Other sought-after technology toys include computer peripherals, cell phones, MP3 players, digital cameras, next-generation TVs, gaming consoles and video games.

Microsoft and industry hardware partners have assembled one of the industry’s broadest and most compelling product line-ups, comprising red-hot entries in every category. With great gift ideas for him, her and the whole family, there’s something for everyone’s wish list - from style-conscious teens to soccer moms, mid-career professionals to college students, 20-something gamers to doting grandparents, right down to the most discerning gadget-heads or device mavens.

More than PCs

While Vista PCs will be front and center for many consumers, Microsoft is about much more than PCs this holiday season.

Blockbuster video game Halo 3 is a retail phenomenon. Ringing in opening-day sales of US$170 million at its September launch and first-week sales topping $300 million, it’s driving surging sales of Xbox 360 consoles. Furthermore, Microsoft’s gaming offerings aren’t restricted to adults. Other entries include family-friendly titles like Viva Piñata and Uno; plus, as a holiday special, every Xbox 360 will come with two free games.

The newly-retooled Zune digital music player offers cool features like wireless synchronization and sharing, FM tuner and a color screen for music, pictures, video and podcasts. Consumers can browse a revamped marketplace to download more than three million songs, and log onto a social-networking site to create a free, customizable Zune Card, so everyone can see what’s on their playlist.

All four leading U.S. cell phone carriers - Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint - are primed to offer at least two Windows Mobile models and consumers are expected to snap up 20 million Windows Mobile licenses this fiscal year.

Finally, Windows Home Server hits the sweet-spot in the home market. Worldwide, it is estimated that 60 million households own two or more PCs and a broadband network. The average house stores 1,000 digital documents, 1,300 digital songs and 1,400 digital photos, according to Microsoft-commissioned research. Consumers’ homes are fast being transformed into digital hubs. Yet, fully 36 percent of people fail to back up their data, Microsoft-based research also found - a blind spot that Windows Home Server’s powerful storage capabilities squarely addresses.


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