Microsoft looking to create new TV service to rival Google TV

Microsoft has a long history of working to bring the TV to the computer. With tight integration into its Media Center platform, Microsoft knows that there is value in merging the home PC and live TV, which makes it seem a little odd that they have been sitting on the back burner while Google TV has generated interest among consumers.

According to Reuters, that may be all about to change. They are stating that Microsoft has held talks with the media giants about delivering a paid service that may be distributed via the Xbox 360. Microsoft is looking to fight back against Google, Apple, and many other companies who are looking to merge the TV, Internet, and movie industry into one platform that plays nicely on your TV.

Other than leaks about Microsoft holding meetings with top executives from all the major media players, not much else is known at this point. It wouldn't be a huge surprise if Microsoft creates its own device to directly compete, but at this time, it's all pure speculation.

One other interesting fact about the web-to-TV market is that Sony has recently slashed the prices on some of its Google TV gear that may indicate that consumer adoption is lackluster at best. 

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

WikiLeaks: China was behind 2009 Google hack

Next Story

Neowin's Guide to not getting scammed

48 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Sony was kind of stupid to have even played with the Google TV idea.

They would have been better off to make a more robust TV presentation system for the PS3 and/or push an integrated version of a new Sony Media interface on the TV instead of Google TV.

Sony TVs have had PS3 like Menus and some content offerings for a while now, but they haven't done anything with it.

Microsoft also seems to be late in getting ther all this together, although they did push hard for cable companies and other media providers to work with Media Center technologies.

Even just a cheap $100 computer running a version of Windows with just a Media Center interface would have been brilliant, more now than when they were trying to get MFRs to consider it.

Ironically, Media Center that dates back about 6 years now was designed as not only a TV and Media application, but as a PLATFORM for other content providers and even offered/offers a full set of integration and APIs for applications that run in the Media Center context. (Like Netflix does for example.) Microsoft could of had a full Media Center Application store along side the features that people have always liked about Media Center running on a tiny, remote only, box sitting next to their TV years before things like AppleTV or other Media boxes were around.

So even though MS saw the need for this several years ago when nobody else thought it would be the future and DirecTV and other MFRs knocked down the idea down as 'silly' back then, Microsoft should have built this functionality directly into the XBox 360. Or at the very least put Media Center directly on the XBox 360 with an addon Tuner device. This is when Microsoft had the ideas and the hardware to make it happen on their own before everyone else started to 'wake up' and realize it was the future of TV and what consumers want.

Why make something ? ......... they already wanting to port silverlight to xbox .... xbox has netflix,sky and zune and has media center extender ! so its already half why there !!!

jasonon said,
They really need to build Internet Explorer 9 into Xbox, that would be a major plus!!

So you can have spyware and viruses on the xbox? no thanks

ZekeComa said,
So you can have spyware and viruses on the xbox? no thanks
Does this somehow not apply to the PS3, Android phones, iOS, Wii, and any number of device OSes? Or are you just riding that hilarious meme of 'ooh, microsoft = viruses'?

andrewbares said,

I'd settle for Hulu without the price tag...

I do, the $10 doesn't give me any TV shows I watch. I also use Boxee, I'm waiting to see what Apple TV 2 can do so far. Plex only has Hulu on it.

Perfect for Microsoft. Aren't they the ones that always bring you stuff with one or two nice features coupled with retarded price points and interfaces and then drop it 18 months later with a big FU to everyone that paid in...

This "technology" is for the super geek pilgrims, wanna pay a lot to be a beta tester?, despite actually working just a little bit, is not ready for prime time, but for some, they'll have to have it and like a drowning man, will try to drag you under with them.

Hahaiah said,
Perfect for Microsoft. Aren't they the ones that always bring you stuff with one or two nice features coupled with retarded price points and interfaces and then drop it 18 months later with a big FU to everyone that paid in...
Some examples, please.

Easy peasy
Take an

AMD SEMPRON 145
2GB OF RAM
Onboard HD4200
Add DVI, HDMI, and YPBR outputs
Windows 7 Embedded on like 8GB flash card
250GB drive
DVD DRIVE
3 USb ports
and a tv tuner,

GOOGLE TV is as good as dead with that setup

an oh price it for $399.00

While Google seems to hot on the heels of Apple, I can't help but think of Microsoft as the little brother that's just trying to tag along.

More seriously, let's see what Microsoft can do. Apple and Google's approach didn't particularly impress me. Personally, I just want to be able to watch sports and Showtime.

blahism said,
ms is way ahead if Google on TV... YouTube isn't exactly what consumers will pay much for
Google TV has potential, but Google needs to work with content providers to allow access.

Last I read, a bunch of them are blocking Google TV: ABC, NBC, Hulu, CBS, Fancast, and all Viacom stuff.

Flawed said,
Microsoft, the quintessential "me too" company. Phone7, Tablets, Kinect, TV, Zune, XBox.

1. Phone 7 - Windows Mobile launched in what? 2003?
2. Tablets - Windows XP tablet edition, launched well before the iPad (which is a SLATE).
3. Kinect - Kinect has an equivalent competitor? Really? The wii doesn't count since it uses a wiimote.
4. TV - Microsoft makes tvs? And media center has existed for a while now. Mediaroom is used by a lot of cable providers as well.
5. Zune - Oh yes I forgot there is only 1 MP3 manufacturer in the world, its not like MP3s existed well before the iPod.
6. XBox - Why not? It was a great investment and proved to people that MS could actually make a game console.

Flawed said,
Microsoft, the quintessential "me too" company. Phone7, Tablets, Kinect, TV, Zune, XBox.

Er, ok. Who did those first, then?

Flawed said,
Microsoft, the quintessential "me too" company. Phone7, Tablets, Kinect, TV, Zune, XBox.

and i was thinking you are not going to troll in this MS news, but wait.....

majortom1981 said,
Goigle tv still has something that media center does not have. Hdmi in. This is why i bought the sony blu-ray player.

Why do you need HDMI in with Media Center? You take your cable cable, connect it to the PC, and then connect a HDMI out cable to your TV. There's no need for HDMI in, at least for any situations I can think of, there isn't.

I love my Microsoft Media Center with Telus but the only comparison I have had is to Shaw's ****ty old digital media technology.

Is this going to be a separate box? or TV integration or xbox integration? Either way, I'd be down for it especially if it had some integration with my main PC

0trunk said,
Is this going to be a separate box? or TV integration or xbox integration? Either way, I'd be down for it especially if it had some integration with my main PC

It just sounds like they're going to try and integrate more TV into the 360, think ESPN or the Sky player bits they have now but on a bigger scale I guess. If this works out right the last little bit of icing on the cake would be to flip a switch and turn the 360 into a DVR as well.

Id hardly call Media Center a failure also, I use it every day as my go to for DVR software. The problem is that when Media Center was launched we also had Media Center computers to go with it, ones specifically designed to be used in your living room. I think I have only used the TV function on Media center and not the music/pictures/videos part. Watching DVDs is also great. I think if they added in their own subscription sercive tied in to it, it would be awesome. having the option to use your own service like comcast or microsofts would be real easy

Im not so sure how much longer the Xbox 360 will be around but... This is kind of putting more reliance on it sticking around. I know there hasnt really been any talks about new systems coming out but I would hate to buy a 360 only to find out that the next gen console is coming out a year later or so.

este said,
Im not so sure how much longer the Xbox 360 will be around but... This is kind of putting more reliance on it sticking around. I know there hasnt really been any talks about new systems coming out but I would hate to buy a 360 only to find out that the next gen console is coming out a year later or so.

This sort of technology is probably something Microsoft is looking into for the next console as well (Though a ways off from what I understand). So, this doesn't mean that this will be coming out for the 360 and then disapearing when the new model comes out.

Microsfot MediaRoom is one of the biggest and most successful IPTV solutions in the world. AT&T, BT, Swisscom, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Bell, CenturyLink all use MediaRoom as their TV platform.

Based on the amount of content online about media centre I think it's safe to say it's not a failure. It's my only TV system in my flat.

stevehoot said,
Microsfot MediaRoom is one of the biggest and most successful IPTV solutions in the world. AT&T, BT, Swisscom, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Bell, CenturyLink all use MediaRoom as their TV platform.

Based on the amount of content online about media centre I think it's safe to say it's not a failure. It's my only TV system in my flat.

Was about to mention MediaRoom - but you beat me to it! :-p

If it's just the same bulk of content through another device don't bother. Same old rules will apply.

Something different that isn't a stranglehold by the Providers and TV companies would be more interesting.

Move away from the past and embrace on demand TV through a TV!

OceanMotion said,
If it's just the same bulk of content through another device don't bother. Same old rules will apply.

Something different that isn't a stranglehold by the Providers and TV companies would be more interesting.

Move away from the past and embrace on demand TV through a TV!

On demand would be amazing. I would definitely be interested in that. However, streaming then becomes an issue unless your internet is very fast. Both myself and friends have DSL, and we still have streaming issues with Netflix AND quality degradation.

Krieg said,
Seems lately here that MS is always playing catch up to Google...
Except Google tends to always put out half-baked products anyways... Not much to catch up too.

Mr aldo said,
Except Google tends to always put out half-baked products anyways... Not much to catch up too.

Nor do their products really do as well as they could if they were in a different situation (Namely Microsoft's...). And then of course Google tries to catch up to Microsoft's offering.

Krieg said,
Seems lately here that MS is always playing catch up to Google...

Considering that Windows Media Center has been available since XP days, you're completely false.

etempest said,
Microsoft failed with webTV, and latter Media Center, be interesting how they go about it for the third time.

Umm, media center is hardly a failure.

etempest said,
Microsoft failed with webTV, and latter Media Center, be interesting how they go about it for the third time.

WebTV failed before Microsoft bought it. They actually improved it greatly.

IceBreakerG said,

Umm, media center is hardly a failure.

No, it is not but, based on some MS statements, could be soon become an orphan child......

IceBreakerG said,

Umm, media center is hardly a failure.

I agree. And with their integration of this into other products, it has really done quite well.

The U-Verse software on the 360 is pretty slick. I believe that the AT&T set-top boxes use MS Media Room software as well (which probably makes the 360 integration a lot easier). I could see them putting more focus on that in the near future.

nithinr6 said,
While I dont want a seperate STB for TV, adding subscription TV functionality to Xbox seems to be a great idea.

Yeah, I agree. So long as streaming and cost aren't issues. Netflix presently has some streaming issues.

flexkeyboard said,
Google TV and Apple TV turned out to be flops, why bother? Media Center works just fine no thank you.

Because people already own the boxes that they are using to provide the content (xbox360). People don't have to go out and purchase an extra peice of hardware. They are already set up and ready to go.

Bengal34 said,

Because people already own the boxes that they are using to provide the content (xbox360). People don't have to go out and purchase an extra peice of hardware. They are already set up and ready to go.

Yeah, Microsoft is in a great position really. Far better than Apple or Google were / are in...

If they sorted out media centre extenders other than the Xbox I'd be a happy boy. Got 2 360's and 3 TV's... all I want to do is get media centre hooked to my remaining TV via a cheap wifi enabled extender box that displays the full media centre (e.g. including TV, I don't mean just a uPNP client) but I can't find one to buy anywhere...!!!!!!!!!!

360 is great for media, but if all you want is to access existing media centre then it's too expensive.