Best Bits: The Re-Emergence of Convergence, Part 3 - InformationWeek
10:30 AM

Best Bits: The Re-Emergence of Convergence, Part 3

There is a lot of competition to build the "convergent PC" that will be the hub of your media center -- but be careful not to get caught in the middle.

If you haven’t been following along with the bouncing convergent ball, it might prove helpful to check Part 1 and Part 2 of this extended rant. The short version is that after failing to fulfill a promise to bring the universe together under the umbrella of a PC over a decade ago, many of those very same corporate failures of yesteryear are re-grouping to inflict damage on you again. This time, they have a three-pronged plan that includes a poorly conceived concept, an overly judgmental operating system, and a confusion of hardware that will bring you to your knees, sobbing uncontrollably.

In This Corner, ViiV
Intel’s ViiV (supposedly, it rhymes with “buried alive”), is a hardware specification. That’s why, according to Don MacDonald, VP of Intel's Digital Home Group, Intel has written over a million lines of code. It requires you to have Windows Media Center Edition (forget about Linux) with all of its third-party hardware requirements, and a full of stable of Intel hardware inside.

You may be thinking, “Okay, I’ll just buy me some ViiV certified parts and slap them together into a rip-roaring convergent system.” Technically, that is a possibility. Although you’re not supposed to be able to do so, you can buy copies of Windows MCE and there are already “ViiV certified” peripherals floating around. There are also a couple of small hitches.

Standards Incompatibility
Some of us who were around during the birth of USB were left with wonderfully non-functional ports on our computers. Why? Because not all vendors who implemented the USB specification did so in a way that Windows found pleasing. Why? Because Microsoft has this odd habit of changing things near to the last minute of production and motherboard manufactures (and chipset makers) who didn’t wait for the clock to strike “finished” were left high and dry — as were we who bought those systems.

Nothing should make that clearer than Sony’s current debacle with the Blu-ray DVD drives on the next generation Play Stations. “What next generation Play Stations,” you might ask? Well, you’re correct. There aren’t any because there’s a big ta-do about how digital rights management will be implemented under Blu-ray. How do you account for that unless you wait until after the issues are settled?

And remember when I said you could buy a copy of Windows MCE? That’s true, but unless you’re a system integrator, you can’t install it legitimately — at least not enough so to be able to call you DIY system legit. A real ViiV system is one that’s been created and configured by an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and you keep your hands off, thank you very much.

1 of 2
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll