Microsoft Announces 2008 Ultimate Install Contest

Custom installers once again will answer the call to prove whose residential project design based on Windows Media Center is the best yet.

ORLANDO, Fla. - March 13, 2008 - Today at the Electronic House Expo (EHX) in Orlando, Fla., Microsoft Corp. announced the 2008 Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest. This exciting design contest, now in its second year, seeks to recognize the residential integration business that best utilizes Windows Media Center in a custom home installation project.

Last year's winner, Imperium Smart Systems LLC, showcased a home that used Windows Media Center as the main platform and interface that controlled all the family's entertainment and many of the home's subsystems. Microsoft has seen the use of Windows Media Center accelerate in the custom integration market this year through increased participation by installers in events and training at Media Center Boot Camp and Electronic House Expo's Media Center University. This contest encourages installers to show off their talents and present their unique and most creative installations using Windows Media Center technology.

"Once again, custom installers have the chance to show the amazing things that can be done with our Windows Media Center platform," said Scott Evans, group manager in the Entertainment and Devices eHome Division at Microsoft. "Professionals in the custom home electronics channel have always been distinguished by their creativity, execution and personalized solutions for their customers. This contest gives them a chance to showcase the great work they are doing with Windows Media Center, the latest and greatest tool in their efforts to build the most functional and exciting digital homes yet."

Contest Eligibility Overview

The goal of Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest is to identify the finest implementation of the Windows Media Center platform as designed and installed in a residential electronics system:
• A company may submit up to two unique entries to the contest.
• Entry form and detailed submission process can be found at
• Each entry must contain information regarding the project cost and engineering details of the installation, a minimum of five photos of the project (maximum of 10) and an installation overview with highlights and a list of integrated components used.
• The installation must be completed before the close of the contest entry period.

"We're looking for custom installers who have succeeded in making Windows Media Center the heartbeat of a digital home," Evans said. "This has been an exciting year for Windows Media Center. We've seen new Extenders for Windows Media Center, new storage devices, new server hardware, and even new entertainment services and content options. We expect that this year's winning install capitalizes on all these offerings and that the installer will have utilized Media Center's capabilities to the fullest."

Deadlines and Prizes

All entries must be submitted by Aug. 1, 2008, at midnight PDT. The winner will be announced at CEDIA EXPO 2008 in Denver on Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2008. The winner, a guest and the homeowner of the winning entry will receive a prize package encompassing the following:
• A trip for one to CEDIA EXPO 2008 in Denver
• A trip for two to Microsoft including airfare and two -night hotel accommodations in Seattle, with a campus tour and a $1,000 cash prize
• A photo shoot of the winning installation
• A technology prize package for the winning homeowner, including an Xbox 360 Elite video game system, games and Zune digital media players with a home AV kit

Official rules and eligibility are available at
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
For more information, press only:
Kimberly Lancaster, Caster Communications, (401) 792 -7080, cell (401) 829 -0111,

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft's corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft's Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at

Featured Product

Universal Robots - Collaborative Robot Solutions

Universal Robots - Collaborative Robot Solutions

Universal Robots is a result of many years of intensive research in robotics. The product portfolio includes the UR5 and UR10 models that handle payloads of up to 11.3 lbs. and 22.6 lbs. respectively. The six-axis robot arms weigh as little as 40 lbs. with reach capabilities of up to 51 inches. Repeatability of +/- .004" allows quick precision handling of even microscopically small parts. After initial risk assessment, the collaborative Universal Robots can operate alongside human operators without cumbersome and expensive safety guarding. This makes it simple and easy to move the light-weight robot around the production, addressing the needs of agile manufacturing even within small- and medium sized companies regarding automation as costly and complex. If the robots come into contact with an employee, the built-in force control limits the forces at contact, adhering to the current safety requirements on force and torque limitations. Intuitively programmed by non-technical users, the robot arms go from box to operation in less than an hour, and typically pay for themselves within 195 days. Since the first UR robot entered the market in 2009, the company has seen substantial growth with the robotic arms now being sold in more than 50 countries worldwide.