Here is our official statement...

Pika WinHEC update

The eHome team is gratified by the response we have received based on the Pika presentations, demos and status update delivered at WinHEC. After some very hard work by our team and our launch partners we are getting very close to the release of Wave1 products for this holiday season.  Enabling our customers to enjoy the richness of Windows Media Center in any room in the user’s home is a key scenario and one that resonates in all of our interactions with partners and end users.  Important in the scenario is a wide range of devices that can participate in the ecosystem.

Pika specifically is a set of technologies that enable relatively “thin” devices to present Windows Media Center scenarios with fidelity and richness that is usually restricted to a PC or Xbox360. The level of computation and graphics performance on the latest HDTVs, HD-DVD players and Digital Media Receivers, while impressive, still trails PCs and game consoles by a wide margin.  The Pika architecture is tuned to compensate for  this performance mismatch and distributes the computational load in ways that are not necessary or appropriate for PC to PC or PC to Xbox360 distribution scenarios.

It is natural that the comments made by Bill Gates in his keynote and others could imply that our plan is to port the specific Pika implementation to PCs.  A number of partners and users have asked us for details on this configuration.  We are investigating the right way to enable these popular scenarios between PCs. It is unlikely that the specific Pika technologies will be appropriate for this due to the different challenges this configuration presents. Windows Media Center will continue to enable new powerful scenarios through Pika and other initiatives. Delighting our customers is our primary goal. 

So there you have it. As is standard Micorosoft policy, we cannot talk about things we have not announced yet.