Microsoft plans to use it’s existing Xbox 360 hardware to deliver tv conent to Xbox 360 homes rather than have them adapt to new hardware. Microsoft has been dabbling in the TV business for quite sometime. They just began offering AT&T Uverse customers the ability to use the Xbox 360 as a set top box. They have also been offering programming from ESPN on the Xbox 360.
The theory for the Xbox tv service is that it would become a virtual cable operator, charging a monthly subscription fee for it’s users to see the major networks television programs and their related content via the Xbox. Microsoft is said to also be considering offering programming subscription blocks of sports, childrens or other themed content. The xbox 360 would allow for the interactive features that Google TV is vying for.
As traditional cable companies are charging more and more for the content to stay afloat, companies like Hulu and Netflix have customers “cutting the cord” by offering streaming television shows and movies for as little as $7.99 per month.
Microsoft has been trying to break into the television world for years. Microsoft started in the space with webtv then MSN-TV and also is partner in MSNBC. The Xbox 360 television plan seems natural but with only mediocre results in their previous endeavors will they be able to become a player?
Microsoft, often a rival to Google, just released their Windows Phone 7 platform insisting that WP7 was fun where WP6 was for business. That may not be enough as all of the Windows Phone 7 models have been available in Bogo and Free specials so far this holiday season.