While everybody crowded around the Microsoft Surface demos I talked to Microsoft’s Robotics team next to the Surface guys. They are doing some interesting stuff with Robotics and automation.
Robotics Studio has a great visual tool for developing Robot applications and it’s not just about Robotics. You can also use it with home automation as David Lee explains in the video he can control his TV with it. I can see some opportunities for Media Center development, the visual tool uses building blocks based on events and you can drag and drop the blocks around. Imagine having it linked with home automation, so when you press Play in Media Center the software can detect it, turn the lights down, close the blinds and have your Robot bring you a drink
They also have an Robot emulator so you don’t have to own any hardware to get started