I do not disagree that there are packages that do the separate things of Linux MCE already. But I have actually been looking for something like Linux MCE for some time and I am thrilled to see it happening.
Of course, I could install MythTV and live with that until Linux MCE comes of age. But I would rather see the mediacenter part of Linux MCE become rock solid and install that. And then grow with it.
Average Joe out there is hearing things about Windows MC and often likes what he hears. A big mix of telephone, home automation, MC et. is a little to much right now for him. But to get a CD he can install on a computer without any fuzz that give him the same as Win MC, but for free, would be a killer. And when you have him on board, you can feed the other stuff little by little.
This is what I mean by basic. Not the stuff that enthusiasts wants, but something that my mother and for that sake, my grandmother, would actually use...
My grandmother would never touch anything that looks like a computer accessory. But she already operates a TV remote. And one for the VCR. But that is all. As long as the interface is simple enough, I would not have any problem teaching her using Linux MCE for watching TV.
It should be like turn it on. Click OK to watch TV. Press UP or DOWN to choose channel. Left or Right to adjust volume. And no confusing graphics gimmicks happening. Press PAUSE to take a break. Press Play to resume watching.
And this needs to be rock solid. Really. No other options added should ever break this.
I know that people are different and some people would have other priorities. But to imply that Average Joe thinks about home and IP phones from his own server at the moment is to take it a bit far. He probably do not have much ideas of servers at all. But a box that looks like a VCR, stereo amplifier or DVD player, and operates like an advanced DVD player is definitely interesting. That is why we now see satellite receivers and DVD palyers with hard drives selling bigtime today.
First get people on board. Then start adding to the mix.