Microsoft Names Ultimate Install Winner
September 15, 2008

Microsoft has announced the winner of its annual “Ultimate Install” contest, with cyberManor of Los Gatos, Calif., taking home the award. The winner was announced at CEDIA Expo in Denver. The winning design had been submitted by the company’s president, Gordon Van Zuiden. “We couldn’t be prouder of this accomplishment,” Van Zuiden said as part of the announcement. “Winning the Ultimate Install Contest is a testament to the phenomenal efforts of the cyberManor employees who worked so diligently to make this installation one of the greatest integration projects in our company’s history.”

Ultimate Install Deadline is Friday at Midnight
July 31, 2008

Microsoft’s annual Windows Media Center Ultimate Install contest will have its submission deadline Friday at midnight, the company said. The contest, which debuted last year, is meant to recognize the residential integrator “that best utilizes Windows Media Center (WMC) in a custom home installation project.“ Imperium Smart Systems LLC was the inaugural winner in 2007. The winner will be unveiled at CEDIA Expo in Denver in September, and will receive a free trip to the show as well as a tour of Microsoft’s headquarters, a $1,000 cash prize, a photo shoot, and a prize package that goes to the homeowner. That package includes

Life|ware’s Seamons Jumps to Microsoft
April 2, 2008

Michael S. Seamons, the vice president of marketing for Life|ware, has left the company to accept a position with software giant Microsoft, Life|ware announced Wednesday. Seamons, a founding employee of the company, will be replaced by Bret W. Fitzgerald, who was previously director of operations for the company. “We will miss Mike’s energy, enthusiasm and boundless drive to evangelize Life|ware,” the company’s CEO, Seale Moorer, said as part of the announcement. Seamons joined Microsoft’s eHome division. “As I move on to another big challenge, I leave behind a company that is better positioned for great things than ever before,” Seamons said.

Microsoft Launches Ultimate Install Contest
March 24, 2008

Microsoft last week announced that it is launching the 2008 Windows Media Center Ultimate Install contest. The contest, which will be run throughout the year, will showcase the best installation and residential integration business that utilizes the Windows Media Center. The launch was announced at the EHX Expo in Orlando. The deadline for submission is Aug. 1, with the announcement of the winner to follow at the CEDIA Expo in Denver on Sept. 3 The Utah-based Imperium Smart Systems won the 2007 edition of the contest. For more information or to enter, visit What do you think about this contest? Talk about

February 18, 2008

The Disneyland resort announced this week that it had reached an agreement with a group of technology providers- including Microsoft, HP, LifeWare, as well as builder Taylor Morrison- will come together to show off integrated technologies at the resort in California. The deal, which is for five years, will entail the creation of the new Dream Home attraction, an actual 5000 square-foot home to be built in the park’s Tomorrowland section. The home, belonging to the fictional Elias family, will feature cutting edge technologies and provide visitors with “high tech, high touch” opportunities when the house opens in May. The house is

Microsoft Names Installation Contest Winner
November 12, 2007

Microsoft this week announced the winner of its Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest, a contest announced two months ago to “challenge industry professionals to present their most unique and creative installations using media center technology.” Tyler Jennings, of Imperium Smart Systems in Herriman, Utah, was named as the winner of the competition. To win, Jennings installed all of a family’s music, home videos, TV, DVDs and pictures onto a single interface using Windows Media Center. As a prize, Jennings wins a trip to Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash. as part of a weekend vacation package, and Imperium receives a professional photo shoot

Microsoft, Partners Announce “Extenders”
September 28, 2007

Microsoft on Thursday announced a series of “extenders,” which are meant to allow users to watch Internet content on their televisions, the AP reported. The software giant is teaming up with several partners, including HP, D-Link, Niveus, Linksys, to produce the various extenders, which they plan to have in stores by the holidays. The extenders are set-top boxes, along the lines of Apple’s Apple TV, which connect wirelessly to PCs running windows, allowing content on the PC hard drive to be viewed on their TVs. Linksys has produced two models- one with a built-in DVD player, and one without- while the other companies

December 27, 2006

When the Associated Press (AP) posted a story about Best Buy selling ConnectedLife.Home, a package centered around Exceptional Innovations’ (EI) Windows Media Center-based Lifeware home control system, EI immediately drafted a clarification letter to its dealers and got in touch with the trade press. The package “is not rolling out in Best Buy Co., which is what the AP story says,” explained Mike Seamons, EI’s vice president of marketing. “It is rolling out in Best Buy for Business, which is a whole organization attached to every Best Buy [that offers] professional installed IT services.” Best Buy for Business has traditionally offered services to small

D&H Becomes Authorized Zune Distributor
November 13, 2006

In advance of tomorrow’s launch of the Microsoft Zune digital media platform, D&H Distributing said it will be a “major” authorized Zune distributor, carrying accessories from Microsoft and third parties. The Microsoft accessories will include the Zune Dock, Sync Cable, Wireless Remote, Gear Bag, Car Charger and A/V accessories. Third-party products will include speakers, cases, FM transmitters, car adapters, armbands and battery extenders from manufacturers such as Griffin, Speck, Belkin, Logitech, Monster, Klipsch, Harman Kardon, Altec Lansing, Digital Lifestyle Outfitters and Targus. D&H said the Zune platform is the latest building block of its “Digital Lifestyle” strategy, which it calls a “potentially lucrative approach to