As was reported on Sells Bros., Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) is available to MSDN Universal subscribers for download. I had an older PC lying around, so I thought I’d give it a whirl. So far, pretty cool. But, of course, it doesn’t matter if you can’t write code for it. 😄 Luckily, I found the Media Center Extensibility Guide as well as information about programming the remote control. According to the remote control article, any XP Pro machine should support the remote control. So even if you don’t have MCE, you can still buy the remote control and use it (I got mine from NewEgg.com). Only bummer – remote control messages are mapped to a variety of windows messages – WM_INPUT, WM_APPCOMMAND, WM_KEYDOWN, etc. No convenient CLR Windows Forms mapping, even though MCE ships with the .NET Framework.
Update – the remote control does, in fact, work with XP Pro. Tried it out w/ WMP to mute, change volume, move to next track, etc.