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Microsoft rumored to announce subscription TV service as Apple's iCloud looms

post #1 of 93
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A new rumor claims Microsoft will announce an Xbox LIVE subscription TV service next week at the E3 conference on the heels of Apple's unveiling of its iCloud service.

Winrumors reports that, according to sources familiar with Microsoft's plans, the Redmond, Wash., software giant is set to take the wraps off an Xbox LIVE subscription TV service next week. "The company is on lockdown for its big announcement and some demos and details might be held back if agreements are not in place in time," the report noted.

The service, which will reportedly be named Xbox LIVE Diamond, will combine Microsoft's "mediaroom IPTV services" with Xbox LIVE. "Microsoft is likely to demo deeper integration of its Avatar Kinect service and the companys new music and video services," the report added.

Microsoft has allegedly proposed a "virtual cable operator" with a monthly subscription fee to media companies. The service could also be used to authenticate existing cable subscribers, allowing them to watch shows and interact with their Xbox LIVE friends.

Frank Shaw, Microsoft's corporate vice president of corporate communications, indicated earlier this week in a company blog post that the company's entertainment strategy centers around the Xbox. "Xbox is the gateway to games, music, movies and TV shows in short, it is central to entertainment," he wrote

"Next Monday at E3 in Los Angeles, the Xbox home entertainment pot will be boiling over during a 90-minute event," Shaw hinted, adding that the "company is turning up the heat on a whole new era of home entertainment."

The Electronic Entertainment Expo opens on Tuesday, June 7 , though Microsoft is expected to unveil the service at a media briefing on Monday. If true, the announcement will coincide with Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference. Apple confirmed on Tuesday that it will present iCloud, iOS 5 and Lion at the WWDC keynote on Monday, June 6 at 10 a.m. Pacific.

According to the report, both Microsoft and Apple are rushing to finalize deals with rights holders ahead of the big announcements. Microsoft is currently in last minute negotiations to secure the necessary agreements in time, said the report's source. Apple is in a similar position, speaking to several media groups ahead of its iCloud announcement on Monday.

For its part, Apple is said to be in the midst of negotiations with major Hollywood film and TV studios to allow customers to store content on Apple's servers via the iCloud service.
post #2 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The Electronic Entertainment Expo opens on Tuesday, June 7 , though Microsoft is expected to unveil the service at a media briefing on Monday. If true, the announcement will coincide with Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference. Apple confirmed on Tuesday that it will present iCloud, iOS 5 and Lion at the WWDC keynote on Monday, June 6 at 10 a.m. Pacific.

I wonder which announcement will get more press coverage?
post #3 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post

I wonder which announcement will get more press coverage?

In the end, does it matter? More cool stuff is always appreciated.
post #4 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post

I wonder which announcement will get more press coverage?

Apple for certain, unless it's more significiant than what's suggested Microsofts announcement is a US only release, partly because it already exists in other countries. In the UK their are only 2 tv subscription services and it already does one of those.

However is anyone else finding the press coverage of Apple to be dropping recently? It used to be a case during the iPod era and start of iPhones that Apple products were reported on as "Apples next big thing", but this year (in the UK at least) when the iPad 2 and Nintendo 3DS came out it on the same day it was Nintendo that got the airtime. This week I also heard a news item on iCloud, but rather than anticipation of something amazing it was more about it Apple having to get it right following the failure of Mobile Me.
post #5 of 93
So, Apple and MS have add-on boxes that are internet connected. But with TV's coming out with internet built-in, and software built-in with connections to Hulu and Amazon and Google, and will run apps, having an add-on box will not be good enough. Apple with have to build their own TV to include AppleTV inside with Content and Apps.
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post #6 of 93
Ohhhh..... Dueling Keynotes...
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post #7 of 93
On closer reading -- the MS offering appears to be an infrastructure in search of an ecosystem.
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post #8 of 93
Unless it includes live sporting events there is no reason to have TV.
post #9 of 93
Oh goody, another MajorCrap "me too" product. Apple HAS something so, MC has to SAY they're GONNA have something. Me too, look at me, look at me, don't look at them, ours will be better. I am so underwhelmed.
post #10 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by halhiker View Post

Unless it includes live sporting events there is no reason to have TV.

Don't tell that to my grandmother.
post #11 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by 80025 View Post

Oh goody, another MajorCrap "me too" product. Apple HAS something so, MC has to SAY they're GONNA have something. Me too, look at me, look at me, don't look at them, ours will be better. I am so underwhelmed.

Microsoft already offers subscription TV in the UK on Xbox 360.

http://skyplayer.sky.com/devices/

This includes all of the major sports channels and is a partnership with the biggest subscription broadcaster, BSkyB, which is part of News Corporation.
post #12 of 93
Hasn't MS done this multiple times before? WebTV, MSN, etc?
post #13 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by 80025 View Post

Oh goody, another MajorCrap "me too" product. Apple HAS something so, MC has to SAY they're GONNA have something. Me too, look at me, look at me, don't look at them, ours will be better. I am so underwhelmed.

At last years E3, Microsoft launched the fastest-selling consumer device in history which is Guinness record holder.
Last year, Apple launched Ping.
So, I wouldn't be too overconfident, Apple fans.
Besides, iCloud is probably just a rip off of Spotify, Amazon and Google services.
post #14 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

Hasn't MS done this multiple times before? WebTV, MSN, etc?

So Apple should not have released a smartphone because Rokr and Newton failed?
Microsoft has 35 million active Xbox Live users on broadband. That's more than Comcast subscribers. You never know, it could work.
post #15 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

Microsoft already offers subscription TV in the UK on Xbox 360.

http://skyplayer.sky.com/devices/

This includes all of the major sports channels and is a partnership with the biggest subscription broadcaster, BSkyB, which is part of News Corporation.

They do this in Australia as well.

http://www.foxtel.com.au/xbox/default.htm

I don't think this Microsoft announcement is just a response to iCloud (although it may overlap some iCloud functionality). It seems to be something they have been working up toward for a year or more.

The rumour goes they will merge Zune Marketplace, Zune Pass and Xbox Live together into one service. I can't remember the code name... maybe "Fusion"... (or then again that could be a Kinect game ). If they eventually join that with Skydrive/Office Web Apps (kind of like Google Docs - but better), Live Mesh (like Drop Box - but not as good), Media Player sharing (private cloud media streaming) and Windows 7 libraries (one virtual file space with multiple file sources) then they are on their way to a damn nice cloud offering.
post #16 of 93
Awesome. So when I get yet another 'red ring of death' on my XBox 360, I'll be without TV service for weeks. Sorry, no go. I like my XBox, just wish they were more reliable.
post #17 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac.World View Post

Awesome. So when I get yet another 'red ring of death' on my XBox 360, I'll be without TV service for weeks. Sorry, no go. I like my XBox, just wish they were more reliable.

At least Microsoft gave people free replacements and a 3 year warranty. MS then redesigned the entire device.
Apple would have just told users, you were "holding it wrong".
post #18 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by bk212 View Post

At least Microsoft gave people free replacements and a 3 year warranty. MS then redesigned the entire device.
Apple would have just told users, you were "holding it wrong".

Yes, I know. I had the original, which over two years had to be sent back in twice for red circle of death, then bought the new version, which had the red circle of death right out of the box, returned and replaced it, 6 months later, once again another red circle. I like the XBox and the game titles, but Ive had enough. This is the sentiment of more and more M$ users, which is one of the reasons Apple continues to grow in every tacit of it's business, during these tough economic times.
post #19 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by bk212 View Post

At last years E3, Microsoft launched the fastest-selling consumer device in history which is Guinness record holder.
Last year, Apple launched Ping.
So, I wouldn't be too overconfident, Apple fans.
Besides, iCloud is probably just a rip off of Spotify, Amazon and Google services.

Do not be too harsh!

Ping: I think it should be dropped in favour of Twitter. I do not use it myself but if people want to use it, then let them have a Twitter account. I cannot really see an added value here by spending money on Ping, money better spend on other things!

iCloud: no one knows the exact details and we can find out in two days

Rip off: I do not really care whether it is a rip off nor should you! Does it work and does it do what you want it to do? If it turned out that it does then good for everyone otherwise bad for Apple!

It is really good that MS is getting more active! This may help reduce wholesale license prices so MS, Amazon, Apple and others may get better deals from content providers and distributors!

I am enjoying listening to Beethoven in London, thought of sharing that with everyone
post #20 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

Apple for certain, unless it's more significiant than what's suggested Microsofts announcement is a US only release, partly because it already exists in other countries. In the UK their are only 2 tv subscription services and it already does one of those.

However is anyone else finding the press coverage of Apple to be dropping recently? It used to be a case during the iPod era and start of iPhones that Apple products were reported on as "Apples next big thing", but this year (in the UK at least) when the iPad 2 and Nintendo 3DS came out it on the same day it was Nintendo that got the airtime. This week I also heard a news item on iCloud, but rather than anticipation of something amazing it was more about it Apple having to get it right following the failure of Mobile Me.

Mobileme a failure? Only according to the press and early adopters who didn't stick with it. I"m a very happy mobileme user, the service is amazing, and the very best value for an all-in-one solution available. It's a brilliant set of web and sync services and it's incredibly inexpensive.
post #21 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkhm View Post

Mobileme a failure? Only according to the press and early adopters who didn't stick with it. I"m a very happy mobileme user, the service is amazing, and the very best value for an all-in-one solution available. It's a brilliant set of web and sync services and it's incredibly inexpensive.

True, I certainly think it's worth the price, but first impressions can be lasting and MM's were bad. They may have to rebrand it because of that.
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post #22 of 93
Ping? If I had to guess, it was a last minute thing using the Facebook integration code that fell apart at the deal table.

On topic... Anyone else wonder about these "tense", "continuing" negotiations that allegedly happen. Apple according to new bites has been locked in negotiations with the labels for months. Now MS is doing 11th hour deals.

I accept they might take time but the portrayal suggests there are these people in round the clock continual haggling. Are there multiple teams? Do they have a limit list they can offer? Are they really meeting all weekend?

Surely due to established relationships it would be a call/email with a potential contract, some banter, legal analysis and a proposed edit in a week; but more banter and legal eyes then a retort. Wouldn't call it intense, more a once a week or day.

Seriously these people aren't sitting at a table for days at a time debating dot points locked in for death or signature.
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post #23 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by bk212 View Post

At last years E3, Microsoft launched the fastest-selling consumer device in history which is Guinness record holder.
Last year, Apple launched Ping.
So, I wouldn't be too overconfident, Apple fans.
Besides, iCloud is probably just a rip off of Spotify, Amazon and Google services.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bk212 View Post

So Apple should not have released a smartphone because Rokr and Newton failed?
Microsoft has 35 million active Xbox Live users on broadband. That's more than Comcast subscribers. You never know, it could work.

It's not often that you see someone argue both sides of an issue in consecutive posts...
Well done Microsoft shill.
post #24 of 93
... even the name is short and catchy

"The service, which will reportedly be named Xbox LIVE Diamond, will combine Microsoft's mediaroom IPTV services with Xbox LIVE. "


Quote:
Originally Posted by 80025 View Post

Oh goody, another MajorCrap "me too" product. Apple HAS something so, MC has to SAY they're GONNA have something. Me too, look at me, look at me, don't look at them, ours will be better. I am so underwhelmed.

My exact sentiments. At some point you'd think they'd actually get embarrassed with such lame and obvious tactics.

As more and more PC users buy iPads saying they don't really need a full computer as it does everything they need and more ... Microsoft have to grasp at every straw they can and XBox does have numbers out there, so grasp they will. What they fail to see is how this is looking backwards not forwards but then again looking forward requires innovation. A word yet to be understood in the history of Microsoft, a company basically founded on Apple's first Mac OS (yes I know the history of DOS yada yada yada)..
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post #25 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by halhiker View Post

Unless it includes live sporting events there is no reason to have TV.

This is a ridiculous thing to say. Most studies show that somewhere around 50-55% of any given population doesn't care a fig about sports and even among those that enjoy it, it's not always the centre of their world.
post #26 of 93
The wrath of the cable monopolies draws nigh.
post #27 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by bk212 View Post

At last years E3, Microsoft launched the fastest-selling consumer device in history which is Guinness record holder.

Even a Blind hog will ocassionally find an acorn.
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post #28 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkhm View Post

Mobileme a failure? Only according to the press and early adopters who didn't stick with it. I"m a very happy mobileme user, the service is amazing, and the very best value for an all-in-one solution available. It's a brilliant set of web and sync services and it's incredibly inexpensive.

100% agree. I have had a family membership since the very first iteration and simply cannot imagine how life would have been without it. It is so much more than the moaners realize, not just great e-mail and all the obvious services but the syncing is worth the price alone. Every time I have got a new Mac or set up a new partition for as long as I can remember (I can hardly remember life before MM lol) and can log in and pull down all my data and be up and running in seconds with all keychain data, Safari bookmarks, mail accounts etc. The fact I can do this anywhere on planet earth with an internet connection too, no back ups with me. I once had to borrow a MacBook when in the UK when I was without one and it took me no time to set up a partition and have my full working account. I for one say Thank you Apple for MobileMe! May the next iteration go where we haven't gone before
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post #29 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post

So, Apple and MS have add-on boxes that are internet connected. But with TV's coming out with internet built-in, and software built-in with connections to Hulu and Amazon and Google, and will run apps, having an add-on box will not be good enough. Apple with have to build their own TV to include AppleTV inside with Content and Apps.

Input devices and technologies change far faster than do monitor technologies. Unless TV manufacturers start making sets with plug-in, replaceable modules, external inputs will survive just fine.
You going to replace your whole 50" monitor every time there's a speed bump on your CPU?
post #30 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Ohhhh..... Dueling Keynotes...

Boom boom boom boom boom boom boom boom... boom...

De-vel-o-pers-De-vel-o-pers-De...

post #31 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

They may have to rebrand it because of that.

Hey, that's a good idea - I wonder what name they could be using? Perhaps we can see in the banners starting to go up for next weeks WWDC? That would probably be a good idea!
post #32 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

Hey, that's a good idea - I wonder what name they could be using? Perhaps we can see in the banners starting to go up for next weeks WWDC? That would probably be a good idea!

Snarky?
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post #33 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by bk212 View Post

At last years E3, Microsoft launched the fastest-selling consumer device in history which is Guinness record holder.
Last year, Apple launched Ping.
So, I wouldn't be too overconfident, Apple fans.
Besides, iCloud is probably just a rip off of Spotify, Amazon and Google services.

So we're supposed to be impressed that Microsoft has had one big hit in the past decade compared to about 5 major ones for Apple?

Don't worry, it wouldn't be hard to come up with several Microsoft products that make Ping look like a runaway success.

All one has to do is look at the relative position of the companies in 1995 and today and see who has been doing a better job overall.
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post #34 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

This is a ridiculous thing to say. Most studies show that somewhere around 50-55% of any given population doesn't care a fig about sports and even among those that enjoy it, it's not always the centre of their world.


Spoken like a true Brit! Haha

Puh-leeeez! Sports dominate the core population of the demographics this device would be marketed to, 18-40 yr old men. It's always said that ESPN is the one provider that could easily survive if thy went on their own a-la-carte. The cable companies pay them more than any other single channel for that reason... And ESPN is now Disney's most important branch (read the new ESPN book that came out last week).

*Edit*
Obviously, all local channels, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, for the NFL and college football would be just as important for the success of such a product/service
post #35 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post

So, Apple and MS have add-on boxes that are internet connected. But with TV's coming out with internet built-in, and software built-in with connections to Hulu and Amazon and Google, and will run apps, having an add-on box will not be good enough. Apple with have to build their own TV to include AppleTV inside with Content and Apps.


True, and not just because of the hassle of having an external box. The bigger issue is the poor and inconsistent user experience across different devices, remotes and services and the infuriating lag when switching between video sources.

Realistically speaking, though, the current selection of TVs with built-in internet is about as appealing as the selection of digital music players before the first iPod came out. The user experience and software quality overall are abysmal. I have a new 55" Sony with built-in internet features and it's a pathetic joke. I have a friend who jumped on the Sony/GoogleTV bandwagon months ago and I think he uses the internet feature maybe once a month because it's so clumsy and awkward.

As history repeats itself, it seems we'll have to wait for Apple to fix this problem, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a "real" Apple TV emerge in the next year or two. Naturally, after Apple shows the world the right way to do this, everyone else will come out with copycat products claiming that the similarity in designs is simply because they're all rooted in "common sense".
post #36 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post

As history repeats itself, it seems we'll have to wait for Apple to fix this problem, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a "real" Apple TV emerge in the next year or two.

There's no money in selling $5,000 TVs. There's nothing wrong with buying a TV from people who've been selling them forever, completely ignoring every single special port on the back except power and HDMI, and plugging in an A5 Apple TV with applications (channels).
post #37 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post

As history repeats itself, it seems we'll have to wait for Apple to fix this problem, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a "real" Apple TV emerge in the next year or two. Naturally, after Apple shows the world the right way to do this, everyone else will come out with copycat products claiming that the similarity in designs is simply because they're all rooted in "common sense".

I'd be shocked to see an Apple television. It's a mature market with several strong players and relatively low margins (by Apple standards).

I COULD see Apple licensing the internals of the Apple TV to television manufacturers.
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post #38 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

All one has to do is look at the relative position of the companies in 1995 and today and see who has been doing a better job overall.

Well out of the 64 quarter results Microsoft posted higher profits than Apple in 63 of them. Is that what you meant?
post #39 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I'd be shocked to see an Apple television. It's a mature market with several strong players and relatively low margins (by Apple standards).

I COULD see Apple licensing the internals of the Apple TV to television manufacturers.

After dealing with my Mom yesterday in just trying to switch the video inout on the TV to the AppleTV I really hope Apple can come to market with a really simple TV option. Hell, even the Apple TV between the cable/sat and DVD/BR with the TV set to 1 video input for its entire life would be great. But I just don't see it happening in any way, except in the capacity you mention, which still is a historical no go.
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post #40 of 93
Here's what we want (2 adults & 3 kids).

In our household each member has an iPad -- and we can separately or jointly:

-- play a game
-- read a book
-- watch a movie
-- surf the web
-- study, do homework, etc.
-- create documents, drawings, take notes, photos, movies, presentations...

Why can't we watch live TV separately or jointly?

We have ATT-UVerse -- replaced Comcast about a year ago.
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