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Microsoft may compete with Apple TV, Google TV at CES

updated 10:50 pm EST, Mon January 3, 2011

Microsoft allegedly making media hubs at CES

Microsoft may to compete with Apple and Google in the TV media hub front at CES if a claim this evening is accurate. The hardware would ship with a custom version of Windows Embedded with Windows Media Center on top. The results were already reported by the Seattle Times as seen in April and once again in September, but would now be polished products.

The hardware wouldn't necessarily compete directly on price and would instead focus on a blend between Internet-based and traditional TV content. Finished hardware would reportedly ship later this year for $200, or below Google TV boxes but twice as much as an Apple TV.

Microsoft hasn't confirmed any of its plans for its CES keynote on January 5, most of which should center on Windows Phone 7 and Windows 7 tablets.

Whether or not Microsoft would go this route is uncertain. It already has a media hub in the Xbox 360 and can even use it as a set-top box to access remote DVR control or watch live digital TV. At $200, the Xbox 360 Arcade costs just as much as the proposed hardware but has gaming, Zune Marketplace access and other features that might be stripped out of a new platform.

If separate hardware exists, it might be more likely to tap into Microsoft's IPTV infrastructure service, Mediaroom, and could be sold directly to cable and satellite providers as an alternative to traditional DVRs.

by MacNN Staff



  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Depends on how you define "compete"

    "Windows Embedded with Windows Media Center on top"

    Wow. Just had a flashback to DOS with Windows 3.1 on top.
    That was Microsoft's answer to Mac OS, circa 1992.

    So, if you define "compete" as "copy a successful product," then yes, Microsoft could compete with Apple TV and Google TV. But if you define "compete" as "attempt to defeat an opponent" then Microsoft could only be competitive against Google TV, which appears to be Google's "bag of hurt."

  1. pairof9s

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ah, yes...

    ...the phrase so often used with Microsoft announcements:

    "Finished hardware would reportedly ship later this year..."


  1. imactheknife

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Another Stellar....

    failure from your favorite company "hello from Sealttle"..MICROSHITE!!! "Applause"

  1. DeezNutts

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Could be decent

    Depends on how 'hackable' the hardware. If its capable of running XBMC I could see it going somewhere as that software basically beats the pants off everything else.

    Software wise MS is fully capable of delivering a solid set top box. The original xBox and 360 have media center 'extender' capabilities and work quite well.

    I'll wait to pass my final verdict until I see the finished product.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh joy!

    Just what I need - Microsoft s******* up my TV...

  1. freddymac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    it's true

    This will be the Apple TV killer and the Google TV killer. M$ will kill these competitors just like they killed the iphone, ipod, ipad, Mac and other search engines. Yea that's it, that's the ticket, YEA........... I wonder what the BSOD looks like on a 52 inch HDTV? Look dear, it's such a pretty blue. :-)

  1. Climb AZ

    Joined: Dec 1969



    this might be cool. I love my Macs, I have 6, but this is an area where Apple just doesn't get it. I'm going to wait and see what MS presents but they already have a better solution than Apple with WMC and it would be nice if they came out with something better. Maybe Apple steps up their game and improves Apple TV

    Trust me, I really want to go with an Apple solution for home theater. I almost bought my first windows pc so I could run media center but then starting thinking about WMC on the Mac Mini just to stay Apple.

    I went with a Apple TV that is jailbroken and installed FireCore. Pretty sweet solution though I'm missing the dvr features.

    My point is why should we have to jailbreak and install other tools on an Apple TV. Apple is falling behind on the what people want for their living rooms and im not sure if they really are clueless or are just too tied into iTunes (maybe both). A Mac Mini with Plex or Boxee and hdtuners and dvr software is a good solution but if MS is going to put this together for $200 then I'm going to take a look at it.

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