or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPod + iTunes + AppleTV › Microsoft to take on Apple TV with Windows-based set top box
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Microsoft to take on Apple TV with Windows-based set top box

post #1 of 156
Thread Starter 
A new report claims that software giant Microsoft will challenge the Apple TV and Google TV platforms when it introduces a stripped down version of Windows for set top boxes and connected TVs later this year.

Microsoft TV?

The Redmond, Wash., Windows maker is aiming to make further inroads into the connected living room this year, according to a report by the The Seattle Times.

"Microsoft's going to make a splash in this market with a stripped-down version of Windows tailored for set-top boxes and connected TVs," wrote author Brier Dudley. "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 Windows-based set top boxes will reportedly go on sale later this year and cost around $200. By comparison, the new streaming Apple TV costs $99.

In November, reports emerged that Microsoft was planning an Xbox-based streaming TV service in hopes of becoming a "virtual cable operator." At the time, sources claimed that Microsoft was at least 12 months away from launching the product.

Google TV

The Seattle Times report comes just days before the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where TV makers are expected to present the next generation of connected TVs.

Several manufacturers, however, may have had their plans delayed. According to The New York Times, HDTV manufacturers hoping to show off televisions running the Google TV software at CES have been asked by Google to hold off.

"Google has asked the TV makers to delay their introductions, according to people familiar with the company's plans, so it can refine the software, which has received a lukewarm reception," the report said. "The late request caught some of the manufacturers off guard."

After initial reviews of Google TV took issue with the platform's inconsistent interface and instability, Google has struggled to gain traction with the product. The Google TV platform has also faced resistance from the major studios, who are wary of Google cannibalizing their ad revenue.

Just a month after releasing a combination Google TV Blu-Ray device, Sony slashed its prices, suggesting that sales of the device were off to a sluggish start.

Apple TV

UBS Investment Research analyst Maynard Um sees Apple as leading the pack in the race for the "global digital living room," though Google and Microsoft have emerged as key players as well. According to Um, Microsoft's success with the Xbox and high Windows market share are the company's strong points, but the software giant lacks integration between products.

Apple is expected by a number of analysts to release an HDTV, possibly with 3D capabilities, within the next couple years.

"While Apple's commitment to the living room remains a 'hobby,' we continue to believe the company will enter the TV market with a full focus, as an all-in-one Apple television could move the needle when connected TVs proliferate," said Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster on Monday.

Just before Christmas, sales of the Apple TV, which began shipping in September, topped 1 million units. Wall Street viewed the milestone as a sign that Apple is positioned to become a "more material contributor and game changer in the TV space." According to Shaw Wu of Kaufman Bros., the addition of an Apple TV App Store would be a major catalyst for Apple's progress into the living room.
post #2 of 156
i'm not at all suggesting that Apple is THE progenitor of all great ideas however why is it that when Apple is involved in a certain category of product somehow legitimizes it for bigger companies such as Microsoft, now Google, to enter even if that category of product had already existed before Apple's entry?
post #3 of 156
Really?? I mean really??????

yawn
post #4 of 156
The content and new movie selection keeps me sending lots of cash to DirecTV. Netflix streaming is great on my Apple TV, but they haven't figured out that many people want to see a category called Recently Released in Theaters appear in the menus. Their streaming movie selections are still pretty bare.

This is where DirecTV shines. Content. But it's a slow loading, temperamental, clumsy to operate piece of doo doo as far as the hardware/software. Any blip requires 20 minutes of sitting there while it reloads and reboots. And the remote was designed by a carpal tunnel surgeon.

If Apple or someone else can get the right content, with the right GUI so we can find recent movies and old movies and episodes of various tv series, they'd win the jackpot. Give me something easy that plays the latest movies for cheap and it's a no brainer.

It's too bad that Apple didn't make the Apple TV compatible with App Store apps. Some are more than appropriate for TV.
post #5 of 156
My (recent) memory is a little off but didn't they already do that in the early part of the decade with a product called "WebTV"? I remember seeing those things in dumpsters even just a couple years ago. I put their attempt right alongside WinCE, Microsoft BOB, and Windows ME, and of course.. the Zune.
post #6 of 156
Another "too little, too late" half-witted effort from Microsoft... the company that crushes originality and brings tears to life.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #7 of 156
Windows Media Centre is not bad and neither is Xbox. MS have some experience in this area and their chances are better than Google's at least.
post #8 of 156
Ahhh.... Microsoft. The king of the "Me-to's". Customers might get a bit tired of watching a blue screen through.
post #9 of 156
WebTV 2.0?

About freaking time. Iv'e only been waiting for this for 15 years.
post #10 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by leighr View Post

Ahhh.... Microsoft. The king of the "Me-to's". Customers might get a bit tired of watching a blue screen through.

You are late with that joke at least 8 years.

it's gonna be a modified XBOX anyway. And whether you take it or not, M$ have better experience in that field than Apple.
post #11 of 156
This isn't exactly a new product. It is a new version of an old product.

It is probably in a different niche. Windows Media Center is more a competitor for devices like the Tivo. Sure there is some overlap but the strong points of each device are different. This sounds more like Microsoft is trying to make their existing product more affordable. Windows Media Center costs at least twice that now.

Microsoft already has a real competitor to the Apple TV, it is called the Xbox. They are really competing with iTunes here. Microsoft, Sony, and Amazon all try to compete with iTunes but none of them are very close to catching up.

Many companies do try to copy Apple, but I don't think it is the case here.
post #12 of 156
Hey man, poor Balmer got beaten up by the board last year for failing in the smart phone market and the tablet market without really even competing. While Apple and Google sold millions of devices. Any other such failure would not be good for Balmer.

Once Apple reached the million unit mark, it triggered an alarm in Redmond which turns on the photocopy machine. At least Balmer now has his photocopying machine focused on Apple and is prepared to at least try to compete. Balmer and the MS board are kind of late again and I don't see the infrastructure to connect to but...

Time will tell.
post #13 of 156
Hahaha. That's not going to end well for Microsoft :-D

Cripes, what are those loser managers thinking? It seems like they try and fail to copy EVERY idea the past decade or two.
post #14 of 156
Ah, Windows something something on ARM comes closer and closer.
post #15 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Windows Media Centre is not bad and neither is Xbox. MS have some experience in this area and their chances are better than Google's at least.

Maybe Microsoft realises now how overkill Windows Media Center is for most mere mortals.
post #16 of 156
Betcha 50 bucks that the remote for Microsoft TV (or whatever they will call it) will have a minimum of 50 buttons. (As compared to the Apple TV's 7 buttons.)
post #17 of 156
Wow, how did they ever think of that?
post #18 of 156
Apple has a problem on it's iTunes Movie store. Probably it's origin is in the Apple "Keep It Simple, Stupid" religion, but it is very annoying : Appel iTunes almost never offer movies with the Original Soundtrack it it is not a language of the store's country. This is especially a problem internationally. For example, in Switzerland there are 4 official languages. Swiss population is also 30% from foreign origin, but Apple never offers movies having multiple language choices. And most importantly they don't offer movies in the original language: All movies are dubbed (German, French or Italian). Some french movies (Taxi4), are even only available dubbed in German.
On public Swiss television, most movies and TV shows are dual sound-channel, meaning one can _always_ choose to hear the real actors instead of a voiceover actor. Movie theaters in Switzerland mostly offer a mix of dubbed or subtitled version with the original soundtrack. And of course DVD's all come with the original soundtracks included.
Hundreds of comments from users on the Swiss iTunes store ask Apple to adapt its technology & infrastructure to include optional subtitles and multiple language tracks (or at least include the original movie's language). Searching for the presence of original language movies is also impossible now. It seems iTunes misses the meaning of "Version originale" / Original language.
A facebook page "ITunesSoundTracks" was created as a discussion / pressure forum.

If Microsoft comes or with a movie store that allows me to view a vast choice of movies on my mac with the original soundtracks, then they'll have me as a client !
post #19 of 156
Foxtel, an Australian cable TV provider, has launched a service called Foxtel on Xbox 360.
http://www.foxtel.com.au/xbox/default.htm
post #20 of 156
I am rather skeptical about these endeavors. They all think that by releasing a software and allowing companies like Toshiba and alike to do whatever they want, they can create a successful business!

You need research on HCI and provide synced products available on the system. Last time I checked only two company were doing that, Apple & HTC in partnership with Google!
post #21 of 156
Well, when I think of intuitive, easy-to-use products, Microsoft always comes to mind.

Cough.

Actually, only a country of morons should or could care about a box for a television set anyway. I work in an office of over fifty people, and there are about two who you can talk with about classic literature, politics or history. The majority are very well versed in sports, though.
post #22 of 156
By the way, here's a quick tip. Unless you are a fifteen year old girl, putting little animated faces in your comments is a sure sign of loserdom. Same thing for emoticons or whatever they are called.
post #23 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

This isn't exactly a new product. It is a new version of an old product.

Yeah, just like MS Windows Phone 7 and their tablet. Once shown the proper way of doing things that will make sales, MS is not adverse to doing a 180 from their talking points that they had when they were pushing their old product.

Quote:
It is probably in a different niche. Windows Media Center is more a competitor for devices like the Tivo. Sure there is some overlap but the strong points of each device are different. This sounds more like Microsoft is trying to make their existing product more affordable. Windows Media Center costs at least twice that now.

This, we'll have to wait and see.

Quote:
Microsoft already has a real competitor to the Apple TV, it is called the Xbox. They are really competing with iTunes here. Microsoft, Sony, and Amazon all try to compete with iTunes but none of them are very close to catching up.

What do you want to bet that this too will change? Imagine Apple TV taking all those iPad games and putting them on your tv and using the iPad as the controller... Touch tv... Who needs a game console? If Apple does do this, this will also be MS's next greatest idea.

Quote:
Many companies do try to copy Apple, but I don't think it is the case here.

We are talking about Microsoft... Right?

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

Reply

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

Reply
post #24 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Another "too little, too late" half-witted effort from Microsoft.

Too late? I don't think so.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #25 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by leighr View Post

Ahhh.... Microsoft. The king of the "Me-to's". Customers might get a bit tired of watching a blue screen through.

They may build in a choice of color for the screen of death this century.
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
post #26 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcolley View Post

Wow, how did they ever think of that?

Idea came directly from Microsoft's R & D department of course ... AKA Apple!
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
post #27 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Too late? I don't think so.

It's not too late to be a "too little, too late half-witted effort" from Microsoft I assume you mean! SpamSandwich hit it right on the nail.
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
post #28 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post

By the way, here's a quick tip. Unless you are a fifteen year old girl, putting little animated faces in your comments is a sure sign of loserdom. Same thing for emoticons or whatever they are called.

Sorry off topic .. I'd totally disagree. Yes they may be over used, yes they be used incorrectly at times. However, they add a dimension to writing previously absent to all but the most skilled writer, the ability to ... yes you guessed it ... show the emotional intent behind the comment. Add in the fact blogs are often terse and very susceptible to misinterpretation and they can become invaluable in avoiding any such issues.
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
post #29 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by tania View Post

i'm not at all suggesting that Apple is THE progenitor of all great ideas however why is it that when Apple is involved in a certain category of product somehow legitimizes it for bigger companies such as Microsoft, now Google, to enter even if that category of product had already existed before Apple's entry?

Because the other guys sit on their a** while some other management takes the plunge. Then, if the product is a success, the other folk come rolling in.
Look no further than the ipad. At the begging of 2010 there was so much hate around the net about the ipad it was sickening. And you probably remember Engadget shutting down their comments for few days until people calmed down. Now look, every mofo is pimping out an android tablet or announcing a soon-to-be Honeycomb powered tablet.
And the tired fandroids have found a new narrative, the REAL TABLET OS:HONEYCOMB.
Ha ha! How they back track.
post #30 of 156
Another project for Ballmer to piss away more of Microsoft's market cap. I forget the numbers ... what's he done so far ... halve it?
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
post #31 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wings View Post

Betcha 50 bucks that the remote for Microsoft TV (or whatever they will call it) will have a minimum of 50 buttons. (As compared to the Apple TV's 7 buttons.)

Or could just have a Kinnect sensor and not buttons.

Microsoft could do really well at this provided they don't screw it up. The real question is which product it will evolve from? Will it be a Zune product of Windows Media Center or some horrible combination.

Currently the Xbox is an equivalent to the Apple TV but isn't the greatest implementation. It has on-demand tv which is fine, but as a separate program on it you also have Zune which provides on-demand films and music but doesn't stream your music from your pc or play the music on your xbox. You can stream music from your pc or Zune on your pc but it's in the Xbox's own music section. Then it also functions as Windows Media Center extender and by now we're far to confused to have any idea what to do. If this wasn't bad enough even when you have a 250gb hard drive there's no simple way to copy all your music onto it rather than stream it from your pc.

Personally I think they should update Zune on the Xbox to handle anything and then bring out a Zune box as a set top box that is identical. Windows Media Center just sounds geeky and will never sell.
post #32 of 156
Why is everyone saying that Microsoft is copying Apple? Microsoft has had services for this years before Apple ever did - its called the Windows Media Center. Use the extender for enabled devices, such as XBox.
post #33 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by blahblahblahblah View Post

Why is everyone saying that Microsoft is copying Apple? Microsoft has had services for this years before Apple ever did - its called the Windows Media Center. Use the extender for enabled devices, such as XBox.

Lots of tired old cliches in the comments here, probably from people who have never used Windows Media Center. It has a lot going for it. The remote believe it or not is very simple, the interface is slick and effective, the onscreen guide is the best I've ever seen, it supports OTA and QAM tuners, it has the best DVR abilities and interface I know of, ...

If you've never used it it's easy to bash it.
post #34 of 156
I think MSFT should just copy Apple TV exactly and not doing anything else. They are a dead company too many managers and not enough people that care about what they build.

Apple 46" LED / LG coming in late 2011 with smaller iPad as the remote. Stay tuned for the best year in Apple History, again!

2011 Apple buys Comcast, new Line of iOS TV 46" and 60", Stock runs alot higher to $500/share., iPhone 4G and Verizon finally sell new iPhone 4G & iPad2.

Back up the truck and buy Apple Stock (AAPL) and sit back and enjoy watching the easy money over the next 3 years.
post #35 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by iGuessSo View Post

Lots of tired old cliches in the comments here, probably from people who have never used Windows Media Center. It has a lot going for it. The remote believe it or not is very simple, the interface is slick and effective, the onscreen guide is the best I've ever seen, it supports OTA and QAM tuners, it has the best DVR abilities and interface I know of, ...

If you've never used it it's easy to bash it.

It is absolutely true, Microsoft had lots of products prior to Apple ... Media Center, Mobile Phones, Tablet Computers ... need I go on?
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
post #36 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

Or could just have a Kinnect sensor and not buttons.

Microsoft could do really well at this provided they don't screw it up.

partial quote


You may be right ... you do the 'Monkey Dance' to change channels? Brilliant!
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
post #37 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by imurphit View Post

I think MSFT should just copy Apple TV exactly and not doing anything else. They are a dead company too many managers and not enough people that care about what they build.

Apple 46" LED / LG coming in late 2011 with smaller iPad as the remote. Stay tuned for the best year in Apple History, again!

2011 Apple buys Comcast, new Line of iOS TV 46" and 60", Stock runs alot higher to $500/share., iPhone 4G and Verizon finally sell new iPhone 4G & iPad2.

Back up the truck and buy Apple Stock (AAPL) and sit back and enjoy watching the easy money over the next 3 years.

With such a small % of the market with Macs, the potential for iPad expansion and the growth of (Apple style) smart phones and beyond (and who knows what next) ... I totally agree other than I think it is far more than three years.

p.s. Throw in Apple's ability (and increasingly so) to develop its own hardware components plus its ability to strip many other components from the market availability. wow ...
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
post #38 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by blahblahblahblah View Post

Why is everyone saying that Microsoft is copying Apple? Microsoft has had services for this years before Apple ever did - its called the Windows Media Center. Use the extender for enabled devices, such as XBox.

It was a huge success, Microsoft totally dominate the media arena and music downloads with it ... Oh wait a minute ...
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
post #39 of 156
Microsoft is officially the largest company with absolutely no original ideas.
post #40 of 156
There's nothing wrong with being a "fast follower" and not a market innovator - you get to pick your targets, decide what you can do that is different, and you mitigate a lot of risk that goes along with being a market-leader and an innovator.

The trick is. . .you actually have to deliver something that is competitive with, and occasionally better than, the market leader. And you can't have marketing that positions you as a market leader if you're not leading.

All in, MSFT is subjecting us to volley after volley of disphoria - they say one thing, they do another. Sooner or later that's going to be a problem.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPod + iTunes + AppleTV › Microsoft to take on Apple TV with Windows-based set top box