Yelling at your TV finally does something
The cool part is that the service will be fully integrated with Kinect and Bing search. You can put down the remote and channel-surf using hand gestures and voice commands. You can also use Bing to sort through the various media libraries available through Xbox. For example, if you wanted spend a day watching Law and Order, you would say, "Xbox, Bing Law and Order," and your Xbox would show you all of the various ways you can check out your favorite police procedural.
Expect a little foot-dragging
If it works as promised, the Xbox has the potential to reduce the demand for Cisco's
Meanwhile, Comcast will make Xfinity's streaming library available only through Xbox. That's probably because the cable provider has been developing a new set-top-box platform with Internet connectivity. I'd imagine that the company would prefer you watch live TV through its box, so the company can steer you toward Xfinity's pay-per-view library rather than Microsoft's Zune Marketplace. Similarly HBO Go will be accessible only to current HBO providers.
Even so …
Despite the TV and content providers' restrictions, I think Xbox TV could work. First, Xbox already has an installed base of 50 million users. Microsoft only has to convince those users to try the new feature, which is much easier than selling them a new box -- as Apple and Google's struggles to launch their own media boxes have shown. Second, many of those users already watch video on their consoles. As I've noted before, consoles account for 60% of Netflix
I'm mostly excited about Xbox TV because it has the potential to finally fulfill the promise of digital media centers. It will wrap your music, videos, and gaming into a slick user interface that's easy to navigate from your couch. If you add this to the buzz surrounding Windows Phone Mango, and Windows 8, then Microsoft starts looking like it could become great again.
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