Report: Microsoft to unveil Apple TV killer at CES; Steve Jobs to unveil Verizon iPhone?

Apple Online Store“Microsoft will give the opening keynote [at CES 2011], with a Wednesday night presentation by Chief Executive Steve Ballmer,” Brier Dudley reports for The Seattle Times.

“Microsoft’s going to make a splash in [the television] market with a stripped-down version of Windows tailored for set-top boxes and connected TVs. The software is a version of its embedded device software, overlaid with the Windows Media Center interface, with media streaming and remote-control capabilities,” Dudley reports. “These new Windows TV boxes have been glimpsed online since Microsoft unveiled its new embedded software lineup in April, and then again at an Intel conference in September.”

Dudley reports, “The boxes are expected to cost around $200 and go on sale later this year. They’ll pose a serious challenge to the new Apple and Google TV devices, largely because the Windows boxes have a polished and familiar TV-program guide that makes it easy to blend and navigate both online and broadcast content.”

Much more in the full article, including Verizon iPhone speculation (“Many analysts and investors are counting on Verizon Chief Executive Ivan Seidenberg to confirm plans for a Verizon iPhone during his keynote speech Thursday morning. If that happens, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Steve Jobs appear on stage.”) here.

MacDailyNews Take: First of all: Google TV is a failed beta currently back on the drawing board. Don’t include it with Apple’s million-selling Apple TV unless you want to give the impression that you don’t know WTF you’re talking about. Secondly: Whether Microsoft will “pose a serious challenge” to Apple TV is unknown, but with history as our guide, Microsoft surely faces long odds, especially with a device costing twice that of Apple’s. And, last, but not least: Apple can turn on apps for Apple TV and immediately change the game whenever they so desire. Attach an inexpensive Apple camera and turn on FaceTime and/or give developers an Apple TV API and – Boom! – brand new ball game. So, a $200 Microsoft box coming, as usual, “later,” may not be competing against Apple’s already successful $99 Apple TV as we know it today, but against something much more, that’ll still cost only $99.

We want to use our iPads with our Apple TVs to play Angry Birds on our 60-inch HDTVs. Make it so, Apple!

49 Comments

  1. I wonder what the “blue screen of death” will look like on people’s televisions? And how do you press control-alt-delete?

    ZuneTang where are you? Please fill us in on what we already know… M$ = Fail…

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