Fiji, the suspected codename for the next version/upgrade of Media Center might be held up by a lack of frequent flyer miles. The beta program, which many of you may have registered for isn’t exactly moving along. The invites that were supposed to be sent out on May 31th have gone no where fast. This leads me to think that the target ship date for Fiji is no where close.
Typically, a beta program for a product as large as Media Center is going to last for at least eight months to a year, and depending on the features included even longer. As my main feature predictions revolve around DIRECTV/Dish support, and HD DVD playback/Managed Copy I expect the beta to be a long one. Getting something like DIRECTV tuners working isn’t going to be easy, just look at the current problems with CableCARD.
Don’t expect Fiji this year. Don’t expect Fiji early next year. Based on water-cooler talk I‘ve heard, I wouldn’t expect to see it released until around Q3-Q4 2008 which would bring the platform back to Sep/Oct releases as has been customary since 2002. . Date is highly subject to change if things like DIRECTV support are to be included.