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New Microsoft software to make the Web look like TV

Los Angeles, - Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is set to make a rare appearance in the heart of Hollywood today to unveil a new version of Windows Media software the company hopes will bring the thrill of the silver screen closer to the PC screen reports Reuters.

Gates will introduce Windows Media Series 9, new software that has been known up to now by its code-name, "Corona." Microsoft has promised the software will deliver high-speed streaming media without buffering, the time lag users experience at the start of a download while waiting for the player to collect information. At the same time, it will add features like surround sound and HDTV quality designed to make Internet video look more like mainstream entertainment, such as television.

The software giant has made its digital media platform a crucial part of its business strategy, as it works to bring the PC and the home entertainment center close to being one unit.

Gates is due to speak at a gala event at Hollywood & Highland, a mall complex in the heart of the city which includes the Kodak Theater, built as the home for the movie business's Academy Awards.

Later this year, computer makers will release PCs running Windows XP Media Center Edition, a version of the operating system that allows the computer to be manipulated via remote control and supports digital recording of TV programs.

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