Hollywood and Silicon Valley just don't get along. Aside from rare exceptions such as Apple
On Wednesday, the chipmaker announced a partnership with Yahoo!
Why WebTV was really TV Web
Anyone remember WebTV Networks, the company created by Diba and Zenith in the '90s that allowed users to surf the Web via their TV set? Microsoft
I've got no idea. Yet WebTV still exists as MSN TV, and it's sold as a set-top box. But it's not a leader; TiVo rules the remote for those of us who still think of form factors -- laptops or desktops -- first when it comes to computing.
Microsoft knows this all too well. Mr. Softy's no longer actively pushing a Media Center PC, relying instead on the Xbox 360. It's a good move; the Xbox is a living-room device that easily plugs into broadband networks, and a deal with Netflix
Living on Web video
That's the secret, Intel and Yahoo!: Build a system that uses the Web to combine gaming, content, and video. Bring me my Netflix account. Let me watch season one of Heroes now, before the new season begins. Or, just as good, create a device that fetches NBC's online coverage of the Olympic Taekwondo tournament when I want it. (It's not on the tube, sadly.)
Too bad this doesn't seem to be what the duo has in mind. Not yet, at least. Yahoo!'s software, called Widget TV, is designed to access Web content such as photo albums stored in Flickr. That's nice, but it's not what I need. Flickr is best on my Mac, where I can browse, edit, and print the photos I like best.
The good news? Widget TV is an interface that software developers will utilize to write code for Intel's chips. This handshake between hardware and software could simplify the process of bringing the Web's best -- movies on demand, multiplayer games, and custom programming -- to life on the tube.
Let's hope so. We've already turned the channel on TV Web, a failure of the cultural chasm that separates Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Intel and Yahoo! needn't suffer the same fate; Web TV's time has finally come.
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