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Microsoft to take on Apple TV with Windows-based set top box - Page 2

post #41 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyc View Post

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.

I'm with you till the "sooner or later" part ..
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Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
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post #42 of 156
God some people must get laughed at in the real world. Apple TV was originally released January 2007 and Media Center was original released in July 2002.

That took 30 seconds of my time and Wikipedia, which I know for a fact 6 year old kids can use these days to verify information.

Get a clue or be a joke. Those are the options.



Back on track... I wish I could go into an exec meeting at Microsoft and systematically crack the heads together of everyone present.

First they back Media Center, then they essentially stop updating it for a couple of years and focus on Xbox... which happens to have a Media Center Extender... which requires a full PC running the somewhat supported Win 7 Media Center to work... but then to Xbox they add the Marketplace for movies and cable TV over the internet (AFAIK Australia only ATM) outside of the Media Center Extender functionality...

...just as it looks like they are going to focus on the Xbox as their living room device (games/marketplace/IPTV and Silverlight support for an extended "App Store") this news leaks which puts the focus back on Media Center.

There is nothing wrong with two devices for two different markets, but relevant functionality needs to be supported on both platforms. If they are going with Media Center on Windows 7 Embedded it needs to support everything the Xbox does. A better idea would be to move the existing Media Center functionality into the Xbox.

In any case Microsoft have flip-flopped on this for almost a decade now. It's time to pick a strategy.
post #43 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?

name a feature of the apple TV that didn't appear in another product before ATV2 came out?

not that this isn't a dumb product from MS. why would i pay $300 for another box when all my HDMI ports are already taken up by my cable box, x-box and PS3?

it's like everyone is trying to sell a box these days but people forget that most TV's only have 2-3 HDMI ports
post #44 of 156
Well, it's about time... MONKEY BOY! Don't forget to enable flash and shoehorn a blu-ray drive in it. You DO play nice with blu-ray now, don't you?
post #45 of 156
Can you guys stop including this stupid "observation" Matt Burns (not MG Siegler) made into every post about Google TV.

Quote:
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.

It was a $100 off deal during Black Friday weekend.

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921666273500

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Electron...at223900050005

Price not cut.

EDIT: Matt Burns, not MG Siegler.
post #46 of 156
How quickly people forget about the year Microsoft went after the TiVo market with a dud called Ultimate TV. Turned out to be an ultimate failure. TiVo is still around.

Microsoft has been down this road before and quickly retreated when trounced.
post #47 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by sciwiz View Post

Can you guys stop including this stupid "observation" MG Siegler made into every post about Google TV.



It was a $100 off deal during Black Friday weekend.

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921666273500

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Electron...at223900050005

Price not cut.

why would you slash prices on one of the biggest shopping days of the year unless something is not selling to expectations?
post #48 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.

maybe they will change from blue screen to vertical multi colored bars
post #49 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by sciwiz View Post

Can you guys stop including this stupid "observation" MG Siegler made into every post about Google TV.

It was a $100 off deal during Black Friday weekend.

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921666273500
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Electron...at223900050005

Price not cut.

Did the price return to normal after the Black Friday weekend?
post #50 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

Did the price return to normal after the Black Friday weekend?

Yes, check the Sony and Best Buy links, Original Price $400, Black Friday Price was $300, now back at $400.
post #51 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

why would you slash prices on one of the biggest shopping days of the year unless something is not selling to expectations?

Ask that to every manufacturer/seller who's offering deals during Black Friday.
post #52 of 156
My bro-in-law got our family an XBox360.

Maybe the games are okay... (I don't play games much)... but

1) The interface is horrible. Clutter and more clutter and hard to get at key features.
2) You have to pay $50/yr to access your Netflix account.

If these are the interfaces other companies think are straight forward.... my god...


IQ78
post #53 of 156
It is inexpensive, unobtrusive, and does just enough to complement the Vizio TV with Vizio Internet Apps. The main thing we use it for it streaming media (audio and video) from our iTunes computer, which it does beautifully.

We have not rented anything from iTunes yet because we have Amazon on the TV, and a plethora of streaming technologies on our new (and wonderful) Sony S370 Blu-Ray Media device.
post #54 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

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

And if my aunt had a dick, she'd be my uncle. Which is more likely than this turning out well for MS. They'll dump half $billion or so into R&D, then dump the product 6 months months after release, when nobody buys it.
post #55 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

name a feature of the apple TV that didn't appear in another product before ATV2 came out?

Name a feature of any product that didn't appear in some previous product in one form or another.
post #56 of 156
Wait a minute... didn't Microsoft try something like this with UltimateTV (or was it MSN TV) 10 years ago (and got promptly slapped down by the government after TiVO complained)?

What makes them think they'll be able to manage it this go 'round without being slapped down again?
post #57 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by sciwiz View Post

Ask that to every manufacturer/seller who's offering deals during Black Friday.

and all the "deals" sucked

the laptops were all core 2 duo and older CPU's that were being hyped. mostly because everyone was stocking up on sandy bridge laptops and needed to clear old inventory

the PS3 had a deal later in december because the x-box with kinect was outselling it 2 to 1. almost no deals on the x-box with kinect. only deals were bundles where you might get $10 off but the price is the same as buying it all piece by piece.

lots of PS3 games on sale but not too much x-box ones. only the older x-box games were on sale like the force unleashed which i picked up for $5 after i bought Black Ops for $59.99

nobody wanted 3d tv and LED wasn't that big a seller either so those prices were slashed as well
post #58 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

... Microsoft already has a real competitor to the Apple TV, it is called the Xbox. ...

Which is why this product [Windows-based set top box] doesn't make any sense. Microsoft needs to accept the fact that Windows as a brand just doesn't carry positive expectations. (This is problematic for Windows Phone 7 as well.) People aren't going to buy something because they call it Windows TV. If anything, the name will be off-putting: Windows, in the public consciousness, equals complicated, hard to manage, something will always go wrong. Nor is the Windows interface useful in this type of product, so, very likely, this will have as much to do with Windows as WP7 does.

What would make sense, especially now that they've moved into the family oriented living room with Kinect (Xbox alone was always a bit of a geek/gamer toy) is to release something like this under the Xbox brand, make it work as an Xbox accessory or standalone, call it Xbox Theater or something like that, forget Windows entirely but throw in the best, easiest to use Media Center features (rebranded, simplified, ...) and they could have a winner.

They really need to give up on the Windows Everywhere strategy. It's been a failure to the point where now all they use is the name, and it's time to realize that the name isn't helping them either.
post #59 of 156
I think MS has a chance here. Better than Google anyway.
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post #60 of 156
Everyone here is quick to bash Microsoft, but in my opinion, Windows Media Center is really good at what it does and a lot better than anything I've seen in that category pumped out by Apple, especially in the TV department. If Microsoft's box is designed around this, it will be good.

I'm not saying the Apple TV is bad, just that it's not really much yet and leaves a lot to be desired.
post #61 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.

Yeah, and we could connect our Macs to TVs before Windows Media Center came out, but so what? This is a new dedicated set top box we're talking about here, not a Media Center PC. The question is, what will MS bring to the market that isn't already there?
post #62 of 156
Honestly, I think all microsoft does all day is look for other people's stuff to copy. Childish.

Microsoft, why not try inventing some new stuff a change instead of leeching off everyone else?
post #63 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?

Hmm I am pretty sure that Microsoft has been doing this for a while. Windows Media Center XP edition came out in 2002. Then the Xbox 360 has had online rentals, streaming from SMB shares, the ability to act as a Media Center Extender and it was one of if not the first device to get Netflix.
post #64 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

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.

Can't be said often enough.
+1
post #65 of 156
Apple once again has a device on the market that MS and Google do not. In fact even boxee, vudu and roku have their boxes out there.

MS is saying another year before they have anything, but I think they have a better shot with the content deals they already have on Zune.
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post #66 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

name a feature of the apple TV that didn't appear in another product before ATV2 came out?

Pretty much EVERYTHING in life is derivative. 100%, out-of-the-blue, never even thought of before doesn't happen much, if at all.
Check out the old 'Connections' series on PBS.

Real innovation is taking existing ideas and combining them in an original and usable way that gains mass acceptance, maybe adding a new spin here and there.
Top of that heap? Apple.
post #67 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.

You mean this remote?

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post #68 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

Yeah, and we could connect our Macs to TVs before Windows Media Center came out, but so what? This is a new dedicated set top box we're talking about here, not a Media Center PC. The question is, what will MS bring to the market that isn't already there?

A Mac could not do what Windows Media Center PC could do with out 3rd party software. I think this new device will be a third option. You will have....

Windows Media Center PC
Xbox 360
New Device

All three will pretty much do the same thing when it comes to TV viewing, stream internet content from Microsofts store like the 360 has done for 5 years now, stream media from a Windows PC, (Like Apple TV does with iTunes on a computer), have plugins like "Netflix" like the 360/Media Center have had for a while now.

I think each device may have some unique capabilities like a TV tuner card in a Windows Media Center PC. The 360 can play your Zune Pass content, I would imagine that this could be put in the new device as well.

The new device will target people that dont want a 360 and dont want full blown Windows Media Center PC, and at a cheaper price.
post #69 of 156
Apple's pricing is horrendous compared to the Netflix model, at least here in Canada. For $8 a month you have access to tons of good programming.

How far would you get on $8 going the Apple route? Something like 1 movie rental and 1 TV show rental, in HD, would set you back here in Canada $7.98.

If you start watching a movie on let's say your laptop, stop for a while, and then pick it back up on the PS3 attached to your HD flatscreen, Netflix remembers where you left off.

I would love for Apple to develop a subscription model to compete with something like that. The idea of spending a small fortune on outright purchases or even a succession of rentals, just to watch a few movies and TV shows doesn't appeal.

Granted a lot of Netflix is not new content but if you haven't seen it, it's like new, and there is a decent selection of good programming that I haven't seen.

By the way, I'm not in a generous mood regarding Microsoft right now, having just endured the infamous Red Ring of Death on my three-year-old Xbox. Had the Kinect attached and apparently lots of people are having issues with their older Xbox consoles when used with the Kinect, especially following a recent update. Sadly the extended warranty on the Xbox expired on Dec. 10 while the unit crashed Jan. 1 so I'm SOL, unless it can be proven that Microsoft botched something that caused compatibility issues between the Xbox and the Kinect.

I have to say that it is rather telling that while it became apparent fairly early on that the original Xbox 360 had a terrible design, it took Microsoft nearly five years to get around to releasing a properly designed unit.

I don't think Apple is any threat to traditional cable providers or companies like Netflix as long as it costs insane amounts of money to consume lots of content. It is a viable model for someone who's rarely home and only needs a small fraction of the content that others do. But for those of us who do watch a lot of movies, TV shows, etc. the Apple pricing model is a joke.

Also, because of good deals on Blu-rays this holiday season I stocked up on some quality titles for a lot less than it would have cost me to buy a sort-of-HD version from Apple. The pressure is on for Blu-Ray p[ricing to drop to reasonable levels and as that happens, Apple will not be able to continue to charge $20 CDN for a download that is HD of the most minimal quality.
post #70 of 156
WebTV, v2.
post #71 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

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.

Seriously? Did Google sell millions of devices? Google has sold the Nexus and now sells the Nexus S. Have they sold millions of these?
post #72 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgoedtkindt View Post

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 !

Apple is really weak on this front. Take for instance iOS Apps. I'd like to buy some apps for my kids, but I am unable to search for Dutch language support in the app store.
post #73 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

Apple's pricing is horrendous compared to the Netflix model, at least here in Canada. For $8 a month you have access to tons of good programming.

How far would you get on $8 going the Apple route? Something like 1 movie rental and 1 TV show rental, in HD, would set you back here in Canada $7.98.

If you start watching a movie on let's say your laptop, stop for a while, and then pick it back up on the PS3 attached to your HD flatscreen, Netflix remembers where you left off.

I would love for Apple to develop a subscription model to compete with something like that. The idea of spending a small fortune on outright purchases or even a succession of rentals, just to watch a few movies and TV shows doesn't appeal.

Granted a lot of Netflix is not new content but if you haven't seen it, it's like new, and there is a decent selection of good programming that I haven't seen.

By the way, I'm not in a generous mood regarding Microsoft right now, having just endured the infamous Red Ring of Death on my three-year-old Xbox. Had the Kinect attached and apparently lots of people are having issues with their older Xbox consoles when used with the Kinect, especially following a recent update. Sadly the extended warranty on the Xbox expired on Dec. 10 while the unit crashed Jan. 1 so I'm SOL, unless it can be proven that Microsoft botched something that caused compatibility issues between the Xbox and the Kinect.

I have to say that it is rather telling that while it became apparent fairly early on that the original Xbox 360 had a terrible design, it took Microsoft nearly five years to get around to releasing a properly designed unit.

I don't think Apple is any threat to traditional cable providers or companies like Netflix as long as it costs insane amounts of money to consume lots of content. It is a viable model for someone who's rarely home and only needs a small fraction of the content that others do. But for those of us who do watch a lot of movies, TV shows, etc. the Apple pricing model is a joke.


too bad the selection of the netflix cloud sucks. and they lost streaming content when the new year hit. the iTunes prices are the same as Vudu and CinemaNow which have been popping up in TV's.

apple had to release the apple TV or watch iTunes video die
post #74 of 156
I'm concerned what this whole connected TV is going to do to broadband service. I have cable and I am convinced that they are targeting aTV/Netflix with throttling. When I first got my aTV, Netflix never paused or spooled. Now, I can't watch a single movie without several re-buffering pauses.

I had the cable repair service come out but all he did was change a couple of coax connectors and test the throughput with speedtest. It all checked out but I still have these issues with aTV/Netflix.

Now that you can stream directly to your HDTV, the cable companies are losing their ad revenue, as well as pay per view movies, plus they have to provide the bandwidth for you not to watch their content when you stream content from Apple and Netflix. It is inevitable that there will be regulation soon regarding net neutrality but in the mean time I can't enjoy a movie.

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post #75 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

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.

They bought that company. If memory serves, they paid over $400 million for WebTV. I wonder if they got value for those dollars. I personally knew only one person who ever owned one.
Please don't be insane.
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post #76 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

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.

What I find comical is that the Nexus S has no slot for external memory and 16GB internal, thus becoming the first Android phone that copies Apple's memory architecture (and for good reason which I won't get into here). I wonder what the fandroids think of that? Time to backtrack on the "iPhone missing SD card slot" issue too?
post #77 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

too bad the selection of the netflix cloud sucks. and they lost streaming content when the new year hit.

I signed up for my free trial on January 1st. Literally the first twenty things I looked for were either only available as a DVD or not at all. Ended up watching Firefly, which I had seen before. Still, the service worked well. Good use of MS Silverlight.
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post #78 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by imurphit View Post

Apple 46" LED / LG coming in late 2011 with smaller iPad as the remote.

I find it very unlikely for Apple to produce actual TV's. After all, why should they? What can they do producing a TV (where there is cutthroat price competition and a myriad of aspects to cover) what they cannot establish using something like Apple TV? I casn only think of one thing: a front facing camera so the TV becomes a video conferencing unit using FaceTime. But adding a iSightForTV to the AppleTV is a lot easier and will also attach to all the TV's already in existence.

My $0.02: no Apple TV, just AppleTV
post #79 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by gctwnl View Post

What I find comical is that the Nexus S has no slot for external memory and 16GB internal, thus becoming the first Android phone that copies Apple's memory architecture (and for good reason which I won't get into here). I wonder what the fandroids think of that? Time to backtrack on the "iPhone missing SD card slot" issue too?

The built-in NAND will speed up data read/writes tremendously and along with all the other features its the Android-based smartphone Id buy for myself if I were to move to Android today.

Even if other Android-based smartphones or even entire vendors exclude the microSD slot surely there will be enough that will offer an SD card that Android users will be able to say that they at least have the option to get a microSD slot or not, which from their PoV is a valid argument, albeit one that isnt an issue for the average user.
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post #80 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by gctwnl View Post

I find it very unlikely for Apple to produce actual TV's. After all, why should they? What can they do producing a TV (where there is cutthroat price competition and a myriad of aspects to cover) what they cannot establish using something like Apple TV? I casn only think of one thing: a front facing camera so the TV becomes a video conferencing unit using FaceTime. But adding a iSightForTV to the AppleTV is a lot easier and will also attach to all the TV's already in existence.

My $0.02: no Apple TV, just AppleTV

A bit off topic, but one thing Ive been wanting for years is a standardized way for TVs to act as passthroughs for the IR sensor and now a camera. Not unlike PC monitors. It would be nice to a FaceTime camera on any number of TVs Apple seems to be dropping iSight to market the new term that could be used by the AppleTV or other media extender appliances or HTPCs as the user sees fit.
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