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Microsoft Television

Microsoft Ready To "Take On'' Google and Apple TV 182

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the goggles-do-nothing dept.
Antisyzygy writes "Microsoft is getting ready to offer an internet television solution of its own, and will demo a TV box this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas." The rumor is under $200 putting it more on price point with GoogleTV at the moment.
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Microsoft Ready To "Take On'' Google and Apple TV

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  • Sure (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DurendalMac (736637) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @06:21PM (#34759092)
    Once again MS arrives late to the party with an offering that likely won't offer enough to be competitive. Good ol' MS: Reactive rather than proactive.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by teknopurge (199509)
      You mean like they did with the Xbox?
      • by devxo (1963088)
        Also, since Xbox already has somewhat relevant online TV capability, Microsoft has a good starting point. The most important thing is also that Microsoft will most likely work with TV companies to bring the content on the system, unlike Google TV which just tried to stream it all for free.

        Microsoft actually has a good change in succeeding bringing this product to market, if they succeed competing with Apple TV.
        • Google tried to organize what was being published by the content owners. The content owners want to negotiate different types of deals for different clients which seems a bit silly to me. Do you think it makes sense to stream to Flash clients that report themselves as a IE plugin but deny streaming to Flash running on a PS3 (for example)?

      • Re:Sure (Score:5, Funny)

        by ThePromenader (878501) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @07:07PM (#34759680) Homepage Journal

        Oooooo! I can't wait! ZuneTv!

      • by geekoid (135745)

        exactly.
        They arrived late, the intital opffering was shit, and now it's as good at others...assuming you pay the annual fee.

        And MS did not create Kinect; which is kind o creepy good and fun.

      • And when did the XBox come out? 2001. Over nine years ago. A lot has changed since then.
    • by Fluffeh (1273756)
      Actually, from memory, they have been flogging net TV as a stupid idea and useless from when Google busted out the idea. I think that they are more likely to be "tagging along... just in case" rather than thinking it really is a good product to try.

      To me, it is along the lines of "Lets make Bing to combat Google." and "Lets make the Zune to combat iPods.". I think it is arriving too late and with too little - not to mention that it really isn't in their core product offering. They didn't get to where the
    • by Jose (15075)

      yep, defintely late to the party. *cough* WebTV [about-the-web.com] *cough*

      yea, OK some different functionality..but the idea was there. and yes, they bought a company to make it happen.

      This one could make it though..MS tends to not get things right until the second patch to the 3rd release of their code..

      • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

        by hairyfeet (841228)

        And as anyone who has used WMC on windows 7 will tell you they know how to make a damned good 10 foot UI now. if they make it as butt simple and user friendly as WMC? Yeah they could grab some decent share. People see that easy peasy WMC interface and it really isn't a hard sell, one of my biggest sellers is USB TV Tuners thanks to having a box in the corner running WMC broadcasting the cable in the shop. when folks say "How did you do that?" and "Is that a PC running the TV?" I just hand them the remote an

        • I don't get it. If you can, please elaborate a bit further. What someone needs to do what you do? A computer with an usb tv tuner, than an xbox connected to the tv and then.. what?

          And is this enough to do what they are trying to do with this new product? It is all confusing.

          Wouldn't it be more logical just to update the xbox 360's software to provide that capability instead of having another crap to try to make a dent in this market?

          • by hairyfeet (841228)

            What I said was QUITE simple. It is that when exposed to the 10 foot UI of the new WMC it is such an easy sell because it is well designed, then I point out it will ALSO allow instant connection and streaming to any X360? Here comes the money.

            So for you and the clueless mod who I'm sure based their mod on the fact you didn't get it, THIS IS EXACTLY what it has to do with TFA: If they use the SAME INTERFACE that they have ALREADY PERFECTED along with the SAME CONNECTIVITY which they have ALREADY PERFECTED t

    • Re:Sure (Score:5, Informative)

      by RobertM1968 (951074) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @07:10PM (#34759714) Homepage Journal

      Once again MS arrives late to the party with an offering that likely won't offer enough to be competitive. Good ol' MS: Reactive rather than proactive.

      Not entirely accurate. Microsoft has went to this party before, and been "kicked out" before. This is just their most recent attempt. WebTV (launched 1996, bought by MS in 1997) being one such attempt. Followed by Windows Media Center. Followed by a "new and (un)improved" WebTV, followed by updated Windows Media Center, followed by even more Windows Media Center releases (in total, since and including launch, release/versions 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, Vista, Windows 7, and TV Pack 2008), xBox Media Center somewhere in that timeline, Portable Media Center for things like the Zune and so on.

      Maybe this time they will succeed. The point above isn't slamming Microsoft. My point is you aren't quite correct in blaming Microsoft for being reactive instead of proactive. They were one of the first companies that saw the worth of this marketplace (even if they didnt figure out how to capitalize on it). Often it's hard to START a marketplace. Now, Microsoft has the advantage of seeing what's working for other companies in this marketplace. Thus my point is, it is NOT fair to claim they are reactive in this situation. They saw the potential gains of such a scenario when they purchased WebTV and later released WMC. They simply didnt know how to approach the market properly.

      Now, it (if they want to succeed) will be a combination of their previous proactive attempts at Online TV plus a reactive look at ensuring their next offering addresses the needs, concerns and desires of those consumers who enjoy and use GoogleTV, AppleTV and NetFlix.

      Further in Microsoft's defense, the technology has advanced light years since WebTV, making this marketplace a lot more attractive to the disaster that the initial WebTV boxes provided. And one step even further in that direction of defending them (at least for WebTV), besides the fact that the hardware was light years behind today's, WebTV and it's nightmare was an acquisition. MS did indeed try to rectify a lot of the issues with it, and in many cases definitely did so. But still ran into hardware limitations. Yes, there were still mistakes MS made in not judging what the majority of the marketplace wanted or needed, but my point is, it still would have been unlikely for them to succeed at THAT time (due to hardware and bandwidth limitations), even if they avoided their other mistakes.

      • You know, TV used to be simple. You brought one home, you plugged it into the wall, hooked up an antenna, and you had your choice of three stations (maybe four, if you had one of those "educational" channels"). And although most of the programming wasn't stellar (Mr. Ed, I'm looking at you!), it was at least something that had pictures along with the sound.

        The came color TV. Again, simple... Well, sometimes people looked a little too orange or green, but you know, Star Trek made green chicks sexy.

        Then al

        • by geekoid (135745)

          interesting. I bought my TV last year, took it home, plugged in the cable box, stereo, and it was good to go.
          Not sure what your difficulty is, but it seems to be a wetware issue.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Since SOMEONE else created WebTV, and MS bought it, I would say they are still reactive.

        They have never gotten the internet. I would argue that is they had never bought WebTV and it was allowed to got hey way the creators had intended, we would have had TV on the net 10 years ago.

        But MS tried to make it just like TV, with the net slapped on top of it.

      • by rahvin112 (446269)

        The First DirecTV DVR was powered by Microsoft and still has fanboi's that rave about it being better than everything else including Tivo.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        Microsoft's attempts have been warmed over and disconnected up to this point. Many of the things you mention are ample demonstration of that. This includes the previous generations of extender hardware that never really went anywhere and were quickly discontinued. MCE and friends continue to be fringe products used by people comfortable building their own custom PCs and cobbleware solutions. If this becomes less the case in future it will be due to the increasing prevalence of systems like the Acer Revo tha

    • by Nyeerrmm (940927)

      Really? The party for a good, adaptable, expandable, extensible set top box has just started.

      Personally, I think there are so many things out there right now about to take hold its hard to know what to do. Boxee Box and their new less ugly version they announced today are promising, but the software is missing important features. Apple TV has potential, but it really needs apps and get more content. Google TV needs to get the content providers on board. The consoles, Roku and the WD solutions are decent

  • If a Revue is $300 and an AppleTV is $100, it seems like a $200 device is aimed at both of them.

  • Netflix (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Toe, The (545098)

    Are any TV solutions relevant now that Netflix is streaming? Granted, they don't stream everything, but that library seems to be growing.

    Many new TVs have Netflix interfaces built right in. What's the point of these other solutions?

    (And doesn't Microsoft make a set top box... Um, the Xbox??)

    • by MBCook (132727)

      I see them as cable box replacements, for when you don't watch much or the shows you want are easily available on services like Hulu (which they would have to let you access). The problem with Netflix is that most TV shows are months late (although I think they just inked a deal with someone to improve that).

      I don't think this category of devices is there quite yet, it's a little ahead of the market at the moment.

      • They lack the functionality of an OTA DVR, which would make them the true cable box replacement. The ability to record OTA is apparently not what anyone (aside from me) wants unfortunately.
        • by rogabean (741411)
          You aren't the only one. I have a Windows 7 Media Center that does just this. OTA DVR. If one of these "boxes" could get that functionality I'd jump on it it quickly.
      • by timeOday (582209)

        I see them as cable box replacements, for when you don't watch much or the shows you want are easily available on services like Hulu (which they would have to let you access).

        The TVs that stream Netflix also stream Hulu (at least, Sonys do).

        Except it's Hulu Plus, which is similar to Hulu, except some content is missing and you have to pay a monthly bill for it. But I doubt Hulu Plus will be any more attractive through Microsoft than Sony.

    • by c0d3g33k (102699)

      Are any TV solutions relevant now that Netflix is streaming? Granted, they don't stream everything, but that library seems to be growing.

      Many new TVs have Netflix interfaces built right in. What's the point of these other solutions?

      Well, they potentially make money for the competitor, rather than Netflix, which is a powerful motivator for producing solutions that aren't Netflix.

      Aside from the very huge flaw that these solutions are typically hardware based rather than installable in commodity hardware, the other point is that there is competition, which I view as extremely healthy. I don't want my choices limited to only Netflix - I want to be able to choose from a healthy selection of other streaming providers. That forces Netflix

    • by Maltheus (248271)

      Netflix aside, those new TVs have support for apps in general. Why not just add a Microsoft/Google TV app? These new set top boxes seem dated before they're even out. Google should apply the android model to TVs.

      • those new TVs have support for apps in general.

        But who is authorized to develop applications for these televisions? Do they all have the equivalent of Android's "Unknown sources", or do some TV makers shut it off like AT&T does on its Android phones?

      • Netflix aside, those new TVs have support for apps in general. Why not just add a Microsoft/Google TV app? These new set top boxes seem dated before they're even out. Google should apply the android model to TVs.

        GoogleTV isn't an app, it is Android for TVs (including a plan to roll-out support early this year for apps from the Android Market.) Just as Android normally comes installed on a device, it comes installed on TVs. It also can be run on set-top boxes using the TV as a display device (this is a cheaper option for those with an existing TV, since you don't have to replace the TV.)

        Suggesting that GoogleTV -- which is really Android for TVs -- should made available as an app for the other "smartTV" platforms is

        • by Maltheus (248271)

          Hmmm, interesting. I wonder if that's why my Samsung youtube app is so crappy. Google doesn't want to compete with themselves. It's too bad I was forced into getting a new TV this year. I would have loved the ability to develop my own TV apps. In another 5 years, I may not even need my HTPC.

    • I have a MythTV that is somewhat of a time hog because I am constantly tweaking and updating it as part of a home server, when I should leave well enough alone. I use the MythTV more (but only slightly more) than my Roku Netflix player. Netflix lets me watch TV series on premium channels I don't subscribe to like Showtime (though a year late). But for watching current TV series, on major networks, time-shifted, and with the advertisements automatically cut out, nothing beats Myth (or other advanced DVR).
    • by tool462 (677306)

      Competition. Right now Netflix service is fantastic, in large part because their survival as a company depends on them being very good. If Microsoft/Apple/Google/Boxee/Hulu/Roku/etc all decide that they don't want to try anymore and let Netflix have the whole market, there is no incentive for Netflix to improve or even maintain their product at a reasonable price. As a happy Netflix subscriber, I want there to be as many competitors as possible to keep them honest so I can _stay_ a happy subscriber. And

  • by mlts (1038732) * on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @06:24PM (#34759140)

    If MS has something like all-you-can-watch video similar to the all-you-can-download subscription system for the Zune, it might be something worth considering.

    However, why does MS need a TV set top box? They already have one... the XBox 360.

    • by ArcadeNut (85398)

      However, why does MS need a TV set top box? They already have one... the XBox 360.

      Probably because a lot of people don't want a "Gaming Device", they just want to watch TV. I know a lot of people that this would be a good fit for.

      If the price is right and it's open enough (i.e. I can play what ever media I want on it), then it should do well assuming the price is right. If they restrict it to say only MS formats, then it's not going to make any headway.

      • Rename the basic XBOX 360 Slim to "Microsoft WEB TV, with Gaming". Add the HD and controllers later to upgrade it to XBOX if you want.

    • by hackstraw (262471)

      If MS has something like all-you-can-watch video similar to the all-you-can-download subscription system for the Zune, it might be something worth considering.

      However, why does MS need a TV set top box? They already have one... the XBox 360.

      And this thing still left over from the 90s: http://www.webtv.com/pc/ [webtv.com] Still looks like it belongs in the 90s with the big, ugly keyboard and the CRT 4:3 TV.

      Even a non-microsoft apologist like myself can give MS credit where credit is due. They have persistance as if no one else on the planet has even heard of it. They can continuously throw engineers at horrible products until they become usable or even comperable if not even superior to other products (DirectX comes to mind).

      I too welcome competition.

    • The XBox360 has potential as a set-top box, but Microsoft's business strategy really undermines it. To watch Netflix on it, you have to subscribe to XBox Live, even if you have no interest in online gaming. Meanwhile a network-enabled Blu-Ray player is half the price, has no recurring costs, and can play Blu-Rays. I'm not sure if any have as good of a DLNA client as the 360, but there's no reason they couldn't. The 360 is nice if you want to play games, but in a purely media box role, there are better o
      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        I know of one in the market that supports DNLA, has no reoccuring costs to play netflix, plays blurays and also plays games. I think sony makes it, playstion 3 or something like that.

    • The Zune gave no competition to the iPod. The Kin gave no competition to any phone. The Windows phone isn't giving any real competition. Hell, why are we talking about MS and competition? They didn't even compete with Windows and DOS! They stifled competition rather than compete with it.

      Microsoft's corporate culture doesn't know how to compete. In fact it's funny you mention the xbox 360, because Microsoft is so bad with competition that they just created something that will compete with their own pro

      • but MS held a funeral to the iPhone for windows phone 7
        maybe they can hold a funeral for Google and Apple TVs

      • by Nyeerrmm (940927)

        Because there is no established leader in the digital streaming set-top box segment. I'm hoping to replace my HTPC with one of these small boxes in the near future (3-6 months maybe) and if the MS offering is good I'll consider it, even though I don't have any windows machines, or an xbox, or anything but a student copy of Office and an MS wireless mouse.

        If they have something like the newer Zunes or WP7 quality (which have good reviews but suffer from being too late to have much impact), I'd say they have

    • by Abstrackt (609015)

      However, why does MS need a TV set top box? They already have one... the XBox 360.

      I find the fan on the 360 a bit too loud. I don't really want to have to turn the volume on my TV up just to drown out the whir from my set top box.

    • Well if they could make an Xbox360 cheaper by getting rid of the gaming components and focusing on video offerings (Hulu Plus, Netflix, etc), then maybe it would make enough additional sales to warrant development.
    • by dubbreak (623656)

      They already have one... the XBox 360.

      And I can get one cheaper than $200 brand new (~$130 CAD for a 4GB unit). If they pull the optical drive and provide a remote and no controllers.. then why would it be more than an xbox 360?

  • have a higher or lower price point?
  • A sluggish box built of mediocre parts, running a new "Windows 7 Home Center Edition" that really wants 2 GB but only get 1 GB. Shipping from Samsung at the time of CES 2011! Can play anything, such as Windows Media Video and DivX, although users of FLAC, Ogg, or other "obscure formats" are out of the picture. People start wondering why they can't just as well buy a Boxee and be much better off for a similar price, and Steve Ballmer has no answer to that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Opportunist (166417)

      Here's my bet: A box with a fairly conservative design, maybe available with different fronts to blend more neatly into your living room interior. Of course, those would cost extra, it comes with a simple, flat brown front.

      It will take about 3-5 minutes for the box to finish booting and will require some kind of rather complicated authorization and verification process before you can use it the first time to make sure it's a genuine product. Now, one might wonder, why this is necessary, but since it's runni

    • by puto (533470)
      My Samsung TV plays natively vob, mkv, mp4, wma, asf, avi, and 3ggp, out of the box. NOW.
  • by Stregano (1285764) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @06:26PM (#34759162)
    I have my own "internet" box that also run cable. The total cost of the entire system to build? About $200 or $300. It is a pc with Windows 7 on it and it uses Windows Media Center. Why would they try to push out more hardware when the software company already has a solution? I guess it seems like a waste or resources to me. They could be working on security for Windows 7 or getting more people working on stuff for IE9 or something. There is absolutely no need for a Microsoft set top box when for the same price any reasonably intelligent person can build a small pc with W7 on it and just use WMC instead
    • by Microlith (54737)

      Well, I suspect that this set top box will be locked down and have direct access to various "stores" and such. Depriving the user of control is all the reason they need to pursue something more than simply using existing solutions like building an HTPC or plugging your TV into your existing PC.

      • by tepples (727027)

        Depriving the user of control is all the reason they need

        Depriving the user of control allegedly makes technical support easier, as it's harder for the end user to fcuk something up.

        solutions like building an HTPC

        Only geeks build their own PCs, let alone HTPCs [pineight.com]. It's not like I can walk into a Best Buy and walk out with something marketed as an HTPC.

        or plugging your TV into your existing PC.

        A set-top box is more likely to have SDTV outputs and analog YPbPr component video for use with a "television" monitor as opposed to a "computer" monitor, and it's more likely to already be in the same room as your television.

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          > Only geeks build their own PCs, let alone HTPCs [pineight.com]. It's not like I can walk into
          > a Best Buy and walk out with something marketed as an HTPC.

          When the first generation Revo was still around, you could walk into Best Buy and buy one. Although
          Best Buy did their best to keep them hidden lest all of the consumer rubes find out that you could get
          a desktop PC for a mere $200.

          Admittedly these things weren't marketed as HTPC machines but they were pretty much universally
          pounced on by the HTPC co

          • by tepples (727027)

            When the first generation Revo was still around

            Someone I know bought one. It did the job. Is there anything like it nowadays?

            They're also smart enough to know when they can just buy stuff off the shelf and slap some software on it.

            I tried that once. I looked in a few electronics stores (Best Buy, Circuit City) prior to the great HDTV transition, and few if any PCs had an SDTV output. Even now, I have trouble recommending a specific brand to people who may still have an SDTV or an early CRT HDTV with only component in.

    • by Jugalator (259273)

      I agree. I don't get why they have to present a "device" for this when they can just spend their resources on a "WMC 2011".

      Maybe they want some of Apple's entertainment device market share cake. :p

      Would be quite a shift in business if they start building more MS-branded devices though...

  • Seriously, stop trying to be cool. Your software was originally marketed toward professional desktop computing, giving you an image of the professional dad. Your trying to be cool makes you look like the old dad who tries too hard to compensate for a life with little to show for it. You have chosen your path, and you have given the world some pretty awesome things - look at windows (haters can hate, but you have to give credit considering the sheer volume of its install base), look at the xbox. Just stop tr
    • Re:Dear Microsoft, (Score:4, Interesting)

      by BitZtream (692029) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @06:57PM (#34759564)

      I'm guessing you've never used Windows Media Center with XBox (old or 360) as an extender.

      It is simply put the best DVR system on the planet for the home.

      You get complete control over your TV, you get the ability to burn to DVD as DVD movies anything you record so you can use it elsewhere. You can archive your videos if you want.

      I have the ability to record or watch live 8 HD or SD streams at a time while watching them on the local display, another Windows PC or any of my XBox 360s. Or I can watch any combination of live and recorded across my systems. Or listen to my music, watch my home videos.

      The interface is fast and looks good. It supports plugins so you can do stuff like commercial removal if you want, but its almost pointless to bother with since the 'skip forward' feature is exactly 30 seconds and makes commercial skipping almost instinctual with the remote in hand.

      The only thing that prevents WMC from being perfect is the fact that cable companies encrypt their content rather than filter it from entering the home so for premium channels you need STBs from your provider. My solution is to simply ignore those channels, and the cable co can ignore the money they could have had in the process.

      In short, I'm sure MS is perfectly capable of pulling this off, they already have, you just haven't heard about it before now.

      Take a look at WMC, it makes others DVRs look like a joke.

      And before anyone tries to mention MythTV ... don't. Seriously, its only useful if you would rather spend your time screwing with it to get it to work at all rather than watching recorded shows. Forget about using it like a normal TV, its architecture makes the lag in user input to system response completely unbearable. Its a joke all on its own.

      • by ArcCoyote (634356)

        Don't forget CableCARD and the new Ceton tuner. 4 digital cable channels from one card, no additional fees from your cable company.

        That is the real advantage of WMC: provider support.

        No one else can do CableCARD. Not yet anyway. There is no reason MythTV couldn't record from a CableCARD tuner, at least for unprotected programs. As a matter of fact, it works almost exactly like the HDHomeRun tuner...

        And before anyone spews Cheetos all over their keyboard and rants about how everything recorded from CableCARD

      • cable companies encrypt their content rather than filter it from entering the home so for premium channels you need STBs from your provider. My solution is to simply ignore those channels

        Then everything but the local channels must be "premium" because Comcast encrypts everything in my home town.

        and the cable co can ignore the money

        Not if they're already getting my money for Internet access.

  • Oh. Great.

    (sniff)

    Mmmyep.

  • Can MS push the ISP not to cap / slow this down?

    The one think they can hold over them is Windows update and how bad it can be for that to get capped or slowed down.

  • I wonder if it make a good hacking platform. The under $200 pricetag puts it on my radar for a hacking project.
    • Wouldn't that violate your sig's Microsoft-free lifestyle?
      • Watch the hyphen [ytmnd.com]. A "Microsoft free lifestyle" in grandparent's signature isn't the same thing as a "Microsoft-free lifestyle". A "Microsoft free lifestyle" includes the use of free software on Microsoft platforms, and it includes the use of software under the Microsoft Public License or Microsoft Reciprocal License.
      • If I decide to buy one for hacking I will change my sig. :) But not until.
  • NO. NO, GOD, NO (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ShooterNeo (555040) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @07:03PM (#34759614)

    From a Microsoft stock holder : NO. NO, NO, NO.

    Microsoft does ONE thing well : it hires thousands of competent programmers and it makes usable software. There are many critics but the stuff isn't all bad and they do try to improve it. It SELLS the software to users, and because it has so many customers, the revenue vastly exceeds the cost of paying thousands of programmers. They have a swanky corporate headquarters with all the free soda you can chug, and many many 6-figure jobs.

    It's failed miserably at EVERYTHING ELSE IT HAS TRIED. As far as I know, it has not made ONE DOLLAR OF NET PROFIT ON ANYTHING ELSE.

    It's wasted billions of dollars trying to compete as an online portal and as a search engine. A company crammed to the brim with top CS grads and extremely good custom software SPECIALIZES in search and basically nothing else. Expecting to ever beat them and make more money is a fool's errand.

    It's wasted more billions, with little or NO net profits on gaming consoles. (MAYBE it's finally breaking even on that, but I doubt it)

    And 50 other assorted ventures that never made a dime that we don't hear about.

    Software is STILL a good idea. How about the executives pay dividends and focus on doing their core business WELL.

    • by Jugalator (259273)

      If there's one mistake I can see Microsoft making in 2011, is losing their grip on the enterprise so much that their competitors will gain a stronger foothold there. It's long been a pretty MS exclusive zone, but these efforts on Kinect, consumer-oriented Windows Phone 7, and rumors of Windows 8 being a cloud-oriented OS sounds risky if they're still shooting for the enterprise. These guys want to control their own network, they often don't want to rely on clouds, and they want enterprise-oriented phones, n

      • by alvinrod (889928)
        In all honesty, Windows 8 and 9 could be some kind of cloud-oriented giant middle finger to Enterprise and they wouldn't be hurt as badly as you might think. Look at the number of companies who are still using Windows XP and are only possibly considering moving to Windows 7 within the next few years, but may just skip it and wait for the next one.

        There's the whole Vista debacle which people like to point to as part of the reason for so many businesses sticking with XP, but even if Vista were twice as pol
    • From a Microsoft stock holder : NO. NO, NO, NO.

      Microsoft does ONE thing well : it hires thousands of competent programmers and it makes usable software. There are many critics but the stuff isn't all bad and they do try to improve it. It SELLS the software to users, and because it has so many customers, the revenue vastly exceeds the cost of paying thousands of programmers. They have a swanky corporate headquarters with all the free soda you can chug, and many many 6-figure jobs.

      It's failed miserably at EVERYTHING ELSE IT HAS TRIED. As far as I know, it has not made ONE DOLLAR OF NET PROFIT ON ANYTHING ELSE.

      It's wasted billions of dollars trying to compete as an online portal and as a search engine. A company crammed to the brim with top CS grads and extremely good custom software SPECIALIZES in search and basically nothing else. Expecting to ever beat them and make more money is a fool's errand.

      It's wasted more billions, with little or NO net profits on gaming consoles. (MAYBE it's finally breaking even on that, but I doubt it)

      And 50 other assorted ventures that never made a dime that we don't hear about.

      Software is STILL a good idea. How about the executives pay dividends and focus on doing their core business WELL.

      Yeah, no. They're making hand over fist licensing the Xbox platform to game publishers. They make money by selling virtually nothing. Who cares if they give the razor away?

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Has even that covered the sales of the original Xbox?

      • by citizenr (871508)

        Yeah, no. They're making hand over fist licensing the Xbox platform to game publishers. They make money by selling virtually nothing. Who cares if they give the razor away?

        They sank >$5B over the whole life of XBOX, and only recently started reporting >$100mil profit per quarter. Heh, Kinect alone cost them $600mil in failed experimentation (in the end they licensed third party technology, there is ZERO M$ technology in Kinect) plus another $500mil for advertising.

    • by alcmaeon (684971)

      Maybe you don't understand what drives stock price: growth. If you want to invest $20,000.00 today in MS and get $20,000.00 back 20 years from now, you probably want MS to keep doing what it is doing. It does do it well, but it also owns the market for what it does. If MS has 90% of the OS and Applications market, how does it grow unless the entire market enlarges? Ever wonder why Apple's stock is on fire? It has three product lines, all with massive growth potential. Look at the Mac. It was at abou

    • by md65536 (670240)

      Microsoft does ONE thing well : it hires thousands of competent programmers and it makes usable software.

      That's two things.

      Oh.

      I see what you're saying, now.

    • Why do you keep your money invested in them when they make all these poor decisions?  I mean, their stock has been falling or flat for a DECADE.

      It seems to me your analysis of their business moves is a good one.  I'd wait until they show signs of recognizing the essential truth of your words before investing in them.
  • XBox 360? MCE? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SpryGuy (206254) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @07:08PM (#34759688)

    They already have Media Center for Windows, the XBox 360, and Media Center Exteders... they're going to add something ELSE to the mix? Never mind Zune.

    What is it with Microsoft always just throwing layers and crap out there, making things confusing and complicated. Can they ever stop and think something through, and put out something that is cohesive, simple to use and understand, and useful?

    • by Mr_Silver (213637)

      They already have Media Center for Windows, the XBox 360, and Media Center Exteders... they're going to add something ELSE to the mix? Never mind Zune.

      At a guess, they'll be creating a solution which involves a cut down version of Windows 7 and Windows Media Center so that vendors can simply load it onto some custom powered hardware.

      My HTPC is an Asus EeeBox EB1012 with Windows 7 Home Premium (£280), WinTV-NOVA-TD Dual DVB-T Stick (£55) and an MCE remote (£25). Total cost is £355.

      Unf

  • by initialE (758110) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @07:59PM (#34760288)

    What has been lacking has been clear leadership and direction, not marketshare, technical know-how or PR. And it doesn't help that they keep making new projects without thinking them through, then killing them before they have any reasonable expectation of success. Sounds more like a company self-destructing from internal politics instead.

  • Or if it is considered one, it's horrible. It plays a very limited amount of media.

  • Can't Microsoft ever make something original. Why do they have to stop or feel threatened by any product out on the digital market? Look, Zune and WindowsCE lost. They just wont give up.

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