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

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 62


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

  • Reply 2 of 62
    wingswings Posts: 261member
    That's one way to fix Windows' long boot times, just leave it on constantly.
  • Reply 3 of 62
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    I don't understand what's wrong with just using an XBox 360 console and calling it a day.
  • Reply 4 of 62
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 62
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,786member
    Red Ring of Death, meet Blue Screen of Death.
  • Reply 6 of 62
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    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!
  • Reply 7 of 62
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    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. 

  • Reply 8 of 62
    The lifejacket that Steve Ballmer is clinging too? It's called "Xbox"
  • Reply 9 of 62
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    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. 

  • Reply 10 of 62
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    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. 

  • Reply 11 of 62
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    tbell wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 62
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,931member
    One can already watch select live FiOS TV channels on the Xbox 360.
  • Reply 13 of 62
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 62


    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... 

  • Reply 15 of 62
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 2,984member
    [quote name="Andysol" url="/t/154524/microsoft-rumored-to-take-on-apple-tv-with-xbox-branded-set-top-box-in-2013#post_2235983"]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.
  • Reply 16 of 62
    chabigchabig Posts: 615member


    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. image

  • Reply 17 of 62
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    tbell wrote: »

    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.
  • Reply 18 of 62
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,931member
    tbell wrote: »

    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.
  • Reply 19 of 62
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,529member
    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!
  • Reply 20 of 62


    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. 

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