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  • Microsoft Readies Challenge for Apple TV



    Microsoft is said to be in the final phases of readying a new Apple TV rival that will effectively expand the Windows Media Center to a whole new viewing audience: those in front of their television screen. With Apple's TV set-top box an established success, Microsoft's move makes sense and comes as little surprise. But the challenge for Microsoft is to become the next Apple TV... not the next Google TV, a product that is believed to be performing so poorly that Google is asking its partners to refrain from showcasing Google TV products at CES later this week until forthcoming improvements are made.

    With regard to Microsoft, the company has been teasing a new Windows TV box for months, most recently at an Intel conference last September. Already an undeniably big player in the connected electronics market, Microsoft's plan to roll out a version of Windows optimized for set-top boxes and connected TVs should make Apple infinitely more nervous than Google's initial effort. According to published media reports, the software is a version of its embedded device software, overlaid with the Windows Media Center interface, with media streaming and remote-control capabilities.

    The boxes are expected to cost around $200 and go on sale later this year. They’ll pose a serious challenge to the new Apple and Google TV devices, largely because the Windows boxes have a polished and familiar TV-program guide that makes it easy to blend and navigate both online and broadcast content.
    The big question now is just how much of a preview - if any - will Microsoft give us at CES 2011, which kicks off this Thursday, January 6th? With neither Apple TV or Google TV taking center stage at the event, Microsoft could very well find itself in a position to capture the lion share of the limelight at a time when both consumers and industry talking heads can't get enough of connected TVs and their highly anticipated growth potential.

    Seattle Times
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Microsoft Readies Challenge for Apple TV started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 17 Comments
    1. Volerikan's Avatar
      Volerikan -
      If I didn't already have an Xbox 360, this would be cool. Sadly, it seems like it will do the same thing is WMC on the 360, plus costs the same.

      Lower the price to $99 to really **** with Apple.
    1. Poseidon79's Avatar
      Poseidon79 -
      $200 is too expensive for a glorified set top Windows Media Server box. For $300 you can get a PS3 which integrates streaming via windows media server, Netflix, Hulu, and of course a 3D Blu Ray player.
    1. saunupe1911's Avatar
      saunupe1911 -
      A $200 media player is already a failure. Why not buy a 360? Where do these product planners come from? The sweetspot for a media player is $100 or less. MS, Google, and Apple better be more worried about Roku and Western Digital than themselves.
    1. boxxa's Avatar
      boxxa -
      Boy Microsoft really debuted their technology too quick with their old WebTV. Was the first one but just too early for its potential. Now they are way behind the curve.
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Why would anyone want something that does the same thing as gaming consoles that cost almost the same and do more?
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      I bought a Google TV Box just to try it out. I actually like it (definitely not the price, way too expensive), it does a little a bit more than the Apple TV. ATV is very simple though which is nice.
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zokunei View Post
      And we all know this is going to be a laggy piece of crap.
      And why would you say that? Movie and (Sky)TV services currently on Xbox360 run extremely smooth on my 3MB Connection.

      $200 probably includes a HDD too
    1. 3dguymwm's Avatar
      3dguymwm -
      Wow, now you can see the blue screen of death in hi def
    1. delusion950's Avatar
      delusion950 -
      Apple's challenge, haha funny there is no challenge!
    1. Captinsmooth's Avatar
      Captinsmooth -
      Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon79 View Post
      $200 is too expensive for a glorified set top Windows Media Server box. For $300 you can get a PS3 which integrates streaming via windows media server, Netflix, Hulu, and of course a 3D Blu Ray player.
      Exactly!
    1. scroogelives's Avatar
      scroogelives -
      Quote Originally Posted by 3dguymwm View Post
      Wow, now you can see the blue screen of death in hi def
      Lol just what we always wanted lol
    1. kuhndsn's Avatar
      kuhndsn -
      "Capture the lion"? More like capture the sloth... This may be new to M$ but not the rest of us... On the flip side I do hope that M$ brings into play something very cool and new. Tired ohhhhh so very tired of everyone on the coat tails of Apple. How about some thing NEW! Stop the iPhone, iPod, iPad, and now iTV ambulance chasers. Get to the drawing board and invent a newer and better concept. Otherwise just stay home....
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      Btw folks, AppleTV was not a new idea, it was (as you all like put it) copied from someone else ZOMG!
    1. Shoey5's Avatar
      Shoey5 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon79 View Post
      $200 is too expensive for a glorified set top Windows Media Server box. For $300 you can get a PS3 which integrates streaming via windows media server, Netflix, Hulu, and of course a 3D Blu Ray player.
      Depends on what it offers, I'm running Media Center on a box connected to my TV. I've run a lot of Media Interfaces, Media Center is by far the best Media Interface I've used, surprising coming from Microsoft's past. If it's the full fledged media centre app and the hardware is decent, 200 is not a bad price for it since it will offer far more than what $100 devices offer.
    1. piston597's Avatar
      piston597 -
      Really don't see the point in many of these boxes.. My $130 Blu Ray player can get all the apps like Netflix Hulu etc... my xbox 360 gets WMC so I'm set... These TV Boxes just seem like over glorified plastic...
    1. JazJon's Avatar
      JazJon -
      I use windows media center at home. (Windows 7 with Ceton quad cable card tuner) I use XBox 360's at Extenders in 3 rooms. As you know you have to PAY for an xbox live gold membership just to have access to Netflix. I would gladly buy a new box that supports a free Netflix app and sell my loud xbox's if this ends up being the case. (quite, netflix, plus other features? works for me) I'm curious to learn more and see what comes out.

      FYI: I just posted this article to The Green Button. Some of the Microsoft MVP members should post interesting replies. (already have one)
      Microsoft Readies Challenge for Apple TV - The Green Button
    1. EskimoRuler's Avatar
      EskimoRuler -
      Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon79 View Post
      $200 is too expensive for a glorified set top Windows Media Server box. For $300 you can get a PS3 which integrates streaming via windows media server, Netflix, Hulu, and of course a 3D Blu Ray player.
      i agree, i think that its good that these companies are making these media centers because i believe thats whats going to be next. just picking the shows you want to watch instead of paying for cable or dish