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Microsoft rumored to take on Apple TV with Xbox-branded set-top box in 2013

post #1 of 60
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Microsoft may compete more directly with the Apple TV next year with a new low-cost set-top box that will access the company's Xbox entertainment services.

Details of Microsoft's rumored plans were reported on Wednesday by The Verge, which indicated the device would be intended for streaming media, as well as casual gaming. The box is said to be part of a two-model strategy for the company, which is also expected to introduce its next-generation full-fledged successor to the Xbox 360 console next year.

"The device will run on the core components of Windows 8 and support casual gaming titles rather than full Xbox games typically found on a dedicated console," author Tom Warren explained. "Although hardware specifications aren't fully locked down, we understand Microsoft will use a chipset to enable an "always on" device that boots quickly and resumes to near-instant access to TV and entertainment devices."

Microsoft and Apple already compete in the living room, but the Xbox 360 console is a gaming-centric device with a starting price twice that of the $99 Apple TV.

Xbox Music


The Windows maker recently rebranded its entertainment services with the Xbox name, ditching the Zune name that was previously tied to the company's failed line of portable media players. Before it was discontinued, the Zune attempted to compete with Apple's market dominating iPod lineup.

The Apple TV can also be used for gaming, but only via iPhone, iPad or iPod touch games that support AirPlay functionality. The Apple TV lacks a dedicated App Store for new software, and also lacks a dedicated gaming controller.

Tim Cook referred to the Apple TV as a "beloved hobby" during his company's quarterly conference call in October. He revealed that more than 5 million units were sold in fiscal 2012, but sales were not strong enough for the device to have much of an impact on the company's bottom line.
post #2 of 60

That's Microsoft.  Always finding innovative new ways to FAIL.

post #3 of 60
That's one way to fix Windows' long boot times, just leave it on constantly.
post #4 of 60
I don't understand what's wrong with just using an XBox 360 console and calling it a day.
post #5 of 60
But of course Microsoft is going to do this. They've never done anything else than either copy the competition, or if unable, eliminate them.

Personally, I've always had a different feeling when I think about the term Xbox, but that's just my Dirty Mind.
post #6 of 60
Red Ring of Death, meet Blue Screen of Death.

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post #7 of 60
As long as it makes Apple get amazon instant video and HBO Go- like the Xbox has- bring it on.

I want as much competition for the Apple TV as possible!

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iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
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post #8 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunspot42 View Post

That's Microsoft.  Always finding innovative new ways to FAIL.

Say what you want, but Microsoft's X-Box media features kicks Apple's butt and I am a huge Apple fan. Microsoft's interface on the X-Box is first rate. I was going to buy an Apple TV a while back and my girlfriend bought me the X-Box for Christmas. I simply can't justify the $99 price tag when the X-Box does so much more. 

 

Apple simply is not leveraging the strength of its platform to offer a truly competitive package. For instance, why doesn't Apple have a Apple TV app store? Google, Microsoft, and Roku all do. Moreover, you can surf the web on these platforms. Airplay is Apple's biggest strength, but Google is working to mimic that. Roku's Box costs $50 and it has far more channels (interface sucks). 

 

Apple could have a kick ass product by 1) tying messaging into Apple TV, 2) adding an email client, 3) adding Safari, 4) bringing Siri on board, and 5) adding an Apple TV app store. If it doesn't do these things, both Microsoft and Google are doing it. I would love to be able to be watching Netflix, and a box pop up telling me a I have a message or call. 

post #9 of 60
The lifejacket that Steve Ballmer is clinging too? It's called "Xbox"

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #10 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I don't understand what's wrong with just using an XBox 360 console and calling it a day.

 

 

I read a statistic not to long ago that many people use the X-Box mostly for its media content features as opposed to playing games. I am one of those people (I got it as a gift). So Microsoft is probably guessing that many people might just want to pay significantly less for a device that gets rid of the gaming features and just offers the content delivery features. I think Microsoft might be right, especially if Apple doesn't get it's act together in this space. 

post #11 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

The lifejacket that Steve Ballmer is clinging too? It's called "Xbox"

 

 

It is the only thing Microsoft has done recently that it has both done right and has a solid user base. I think Microsoft should have done like Apple and drop the Windows name all together for its phone and tablet OS. Microsoft somehow thinks the huge installed base of Windows correlates to people actually enjoying the product as opposed to having to use it or merely just accepting it. 

 

Microsoft should be spending a lot of time figuring out how to use the X-Box to sell its other products. 

post #12 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Apple could have a kick ass product by 1) tying messaging into Apple TV, 2) adding an email client, 3) adding Safari, 4) bringing Siri on board, and 5) adding an Apple TV app store. If it doesn't do these things, both Microsoft and Google are doing it. I would love to be able to be watching Netflix, and a box pop up telling me a I have a message or call. 

I don't know if I'd use safari that much and the interface seems like it would be challenging to make useable (xboxs isn't that easy to me compared to an iPad or iPhone)... but messages and email notifications would be cool sometimes (not all the time). That said- if you have your phone or iPad by you, it's kind of double dipping. But App Store... Dear lord... that would be the best ever.

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
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Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #13 of 60
One can already watch select live FiOS TV channels on the Xbox 360.
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
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post #14 of 60
Microsoft taking on Apple TV? I can hardly wait! Buy your tickets early for what is sure to be another bloodbath for poor old Microsoft. Like a punch-drunk prizefighter, Microsoft keeps answering the bell, but they've got no punching power.
post #15 of 60

So, MS is going after the low-end $100 gamer market? 

 

Even IBM couldn't sell a crippled computer, and here comes MSFT with another version of Windows 8 RT Lite... 

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #16 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

As long as it makes Apple get amazon instant video and HBO Go- like the Xbox has- bring it on./quote]
What are you talking about? Even if ATV had an HBO-Go App, the carrier you use to access it would have to allow streaming over the box. I have a Roku with HBO-Go but it neither allows Direct TV, nor Time Warner Cable customers access to it. So what's the point of Apple adding a service you can't use?

When Apple adds HBO Go it will be in a way nobody else is using it, and quite possibly a subscription service paid through Apple.
post #17 of 60

The machine will have 32GB of flash RAM in it, but after subtracting the amount required to hold the OS, the apps, and the restore partition only 13GB will be available to the user. 1wink.gif

post #18 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post


I read a statistic not to long ago that many people use the X-Box mostly for its media content features as opposed to playing games. I am one of those people (I got it as a gift). So Microsoft is probably guessing that many people might just want to pay significantly less for a device that gets rid of the gaming features and just offers the content delivery features. I think Microsoft might be right, especially if Apple doesn't get it's act together in this space. 

I guess it would give MS an opportunity to make money on the hardware, assuming they can make enough to fund a cut-down CPU or use less than optimal chips at a lower clock.
Edited by JeffDM - 11/21/12 at 2:46pm
post #19 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post


I read a statistic not to long ago that many people use the X-Box mostly for its media content features as opposed to playing games. I am one of those people (I got it as a gift). So Microsoft is probably guessing that many people might just want to pay significantly less for a device that gets rid of the gaming features and just offers the content delivery features. I think Microsoft might be right, especially if Apple doesn't get it's act together in this space. 

Xbox 360 with kinect can be purchased for $99 with a 2 yr subscription of Xbox live.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #20 of 60
I don't understand why MS needs to do this. They have the xbox. Unless they will offer a water-downed xbox so they can actually make money.

More confusion for the consumer!
post #21 of 60

Atleast in canada/Telus, i can connect my xbox to my wifi router and watch cable tv using xbox already. I was able to stay away from paying the STB rental / buy one / sign contract. 

post #22 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I don't understand what's wrong with just using an XBox 360 console and calling it a day.

its huge and the interface sucks for things other than playing games. and most of the gaming market these days is for casual games and not the violent shoot/kill games like call of duty

 

the xbox has an arcade store full of casual games but they haven't pushed it that much over the last few years

 

i have a 360, PS3 and Apple TV and use the Apple TV more than the others. PS3 is only for  blu rays.

post #23 of 60
Microsoft's one real success this last decade has been it's X-Box & Live platforms. They are the leader in this area of online gaming and entertainment services. Nobody really even comes close. I guess what they're thinking with this alleged box is is that it'll be for those who want it's Live services without the hardcore gaming availability of a 360. Not really sure how successful it'll be however.
post #24 of 60

Another failure in the making

 

 

I knew I'd seen this before.

post #25 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I don't understand what's wrong with just using an XBox 360 console and calling it a day.

MS don't want people just purchasing a 360 not then not purchasing games. I'm not sure they still make a loss but I don't think they make money from just the sale of the console. They need to produce a cheaper hardware device which they can make some money up front.

 

From a consumer/environmental point of view even the latest 360 uses about 25 times the amount of power compared to an ATV so it isn't a great choice just to watch Netflix.

post #26 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScartArt View Post

MS don't want people just purchasing a 360 not then not purchasing games. I'm not sure they still make a loss but I don't think they make money from just the sale of the console. They need to produce a cheaper hardware device which they can make some money up front.

 

From a consumer/environmental point of view even the latest 360 uses about 25 times the amount of power compared to an ATV so it isn't a great choice just to watch Netflix.


ScartArt, that's how game companies make up their margins. They usually sell the console at cost or at a loss and make it up on the software end down the road.

post #27 of 60

TV and media services? Google's at least on the right track IMO. If I could get this in my town it would be goodbye Verizon FiOS in a heartbeat. This is what I want

http://allthingsd.com/20121121/a-peek-at-tvs-future-via-google-fiber/

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post #28 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

I would love to be able to be watching Netflix, and a box pop up telling me a I have a message or call. 

Right in the middle of the love scene a message pops up offering you a low, low refinance rate on your mortgage. Sounds like a nightmare.

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post #29 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wings View Post

That's one way to fix Windows' long boot times, just leave it on constantly.

 

How do I fix Mountain Lions long boot times?

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post #30 of 60
It won't matter since Apple will come out with their own HDTV next year with Apple TV box built into it. So folks can buy that and hook the Xbox to it, but nobody will pay to watch movies via the Xbox since the capability will be built into the Apple HDTV.

Apple should put a bunch of HDMI ports, USB ports and more onto it so it will be the one HDTV to rule them all. And they'll welcome Xbox, WiiU, PlayStation and other consoles so long as you use an Apple HDTV.

Apple knows the add-on doo-hickey box that the current Apple TV, Roku, Google TV, etc days are numbered. Same as how they got out of the printer business.
post #31 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wings View Post

That's one way to fix Windows' long boot times, just leave it on constantly.

Windows 8 boots ups faster than OSX which is used only by a small number of computers.
post #32 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkKnot View Post

It won't matter since Apple will come out with their own HDTV next year with Apple TV box built into it. So folks can buy that and hook the Xbox to it, but nobody will pay to watch movies via the Xbox since the capability will be built into the Apple HDTV.
Apple should put a bunch of HDMI ports, USB ports and more onto it so it will be the one HDTV to rule them all. And they'll welcome Xbox, WiiU, PlayStation and other consoles so long as you use an Apple HDTV.
Apple knows the add-on doo-hickey box that the current Apple TV, Roku, Google TV, etc days are numbered. Same as how they got out of the printer business.

Because printers are obsolete and nobody uses them anymore.
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #33 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post


I don't know if I'd use safari that much and the interface seems like it would be challenging to make useable (xboxs isn't that easy to me compared to an iPad or iPhone)... but messages and email notifications would be cool sometimes (not all the time). That said- if you have your phone or iPad by you, it's kind of double dipping. But App Store... Dear lord... that would be the best ever.

 

I agree not everybody wants or needs the same features. Adding an Apple TV app store would be my number one requested feature.

 

However, I don't always have my phone with me. When I do, I often times have it shut off. So, if people could do face time (Apple would need to make an accessory), messaging, and/or email via the Apple TV I think lots of people would find use of that. The X-Box does all that right now. It is all about expanding the IOS ecosystem. 

 

As far as Internet browsing goes, some people (not myself mind you) might want to check out the adult video sites. ;O) I have been told you can do this on the X-Box. :O)

post #34 of 60
Originally Posted by Wings View Post
That's one way to fix Windows' long boot times, just leave it on constantly.

 

That would solve Windows 8's problem with being too stupid to remember that I have the WDDM 1.1 driver installed, kicking my screen back to 640x480 every time I boot into it.


Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post
I don't understand what's wrong with just using an XBox 360 console and calling it a day.

 

Power draw, noise, 60% hardware failure rate…


Originally Posted by cycomiko View Post
How do I fix Mountain Lions long boot times?

 

What long boot times?


Originally Posted by peter236 View Post
Windows 8 boots ups faster than OSX which is used only by a small number of computers.

 

The first part is incorrect, the second part is completely irrelevant except to the Anti-Apple Brigade who has to pat themselves on the back any way they can to feel special.

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post #35 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Right in the middle of the love scene a message pops up offering you a low, low refinance rate on your mortgage. Sounds like a nightmare.

 

 

Yes, that would be annoying. Except iMessage only delivers text messages to the phone. To other OSX or iOS devices, it only delivers messages originating on other OSX or iOS devices. I have never received an ad through iMessage on my iPad or Mac. Moreover, I suspect if this feature ever comes about, like with iMessage, you could stop that problem through settings (e.g. only deliver Messages from people in my found in my contacts. 

 

Cable companies set top boxes already tell people when calls are coming through and who is calling (if they subscribe to the companies phone services). I think that is a useful feature because it tells me whether I should pick up the phone. 


Edited by TBell - 11/21/12 at 6:31pm
post #36 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by cycomiko View Post

 

How do I fix Mountain Lions long boot times?

 

 

Get a SSD drive. :O)

 

I just installed one on my late model 2009 aluminum Macbook running Mountain Lion. It boots in about 20 seconds. The Macbook is much faster than when I bought it. 

post #37 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScartArt View Post

From a consumer/environmental point of view even the latest 360 uses about 25 times the amount of power compared to an ATV so it isn't a great choice just to watch Netflix.

That part is absolutely true. The 360 gets real hot. 

post #38 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

That part is absolutely true. The 360 gets real hot. 

It gets hot rendering game graphics, I'm sure power usage goes way down when streaming video.
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post #39 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post

What are you talking about? Even if ATV had an HBO-Go App, the carrier you use to access it would have to allow streaming over the box. I have a Roku with HBO-Go but it neither allows Direct TV, nor Time Warner Cable customers access to it. So what's the point of Apple adding a service you can't use?
When Apple adds HBO Go it will be in a way nobody else is using it, and quite possibly a subscription service paid through Apple.

Deep breath there buddy. That's DirectTVs problem- not HBOs. So a lot of people can access it- just because YOU can't use it doesn't mean no one can. Besides, what are YOU talking about? Direct TV doesn't, but time Warner does.
From Roku's page:

The following is a list of television providers that have authorized HBO GO on Roku:
ATT U-verse
Bend Broadband
Blue Ridge Communications
Bright House Networks
Charter
Cox
Dish Network
Grande Communications
HTC Digital Cable
Massillon Cable/Clear Picture
Mediacom
Midcontinent Communications
Optimum
RCN
Suddenlink
Time Warner Cable
Verizon FiOS
WOW!
Atlantic Broadband (ABB)
CenturyLink
Insight

That's pretty much damned near everyone.... But you. And I sincerely doubt when Apple finally decides to add it that it'll be pay.

And yes, before anyone mentions it could be HBO holding it up- Apple is the hold up. Unless someone has information that HBO hates Apple but loves Microsoft, roku, boxee, and every single other set top box.
Edited by Andysol - 11/21/12 at 7:14pm

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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #40 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post


It is the only thing Microsoft has done recently that it has both done right and has a solid user base. I think Microsoft should have done like Apple and drop the Windows name all together for its phone and tablet OS. Microsoft somehow thinks the huge installed base of Windows correlates to people actually enjoying the product as opposed to having to use it or merely just accepting it. 

Microsoft should be spending a lot of time figuring out how to use the X-Box to sell its other products. 

I think that will happen when/if Windows Phone and RT get some marketshare. At this stage, I think that MS believes - true or false - that association with OS majority is using on home and work computers and familiarity of name will help reduce alienation of those platforms, at the price of some people being unhappy when they realise that Windows on phone is not really Windows on PC, regardless of name and same roots.
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