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!


  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…

  2. OH NO!!

    Microsoft is going to introduce a copy of an already-successful and rapidly evolving Apple device, and they will “seriously challenge” or KILL it!


  3. @Chrissy
    “This is the XBox without the games.”

    You`re probably right, but one has to think why would anyone want this unannounced $200 TV box when you can get an Xbox Arcade for the same price with similar capabilities AND have games?

    Kinda dumb.
    I smell cannibalization.

  4. I really don’t see Jobs EVER being a presenter at a convention, he is a keynote speaker. Also, when they announce iPhone on Verizon it’ll be at an exclusive Apple Event, keynoted by Jobs with the Verizon CEO present so they can smile at each other broadly, thank each other and shake hands in front of a big Apple logo for all the photographers. That’s how Apple does things, the author of that article doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

  5. Blue Screen has already been mentioned. I wondered about the Red Ring of Death so popular on the X Box 360. Hopefully this new box won’t have any of these problems. Hopefully they don’t put a fan in it so it will be quieter than the X Box. At that price it would almost seem to make sense to get the X Box so you are able to play games if you so choose. I guess they never give any thought to their products because they are just driven to copy no matter what… they just need a competing device regardless of the quality. Shame really…

  6. This is good for the AppleTV.

    The iHaters will buy them and and thereby validate the device concept.That will drive up demand in the category overall as more people adopt them. Many people will however will go to the ATV instead – driving sales for that device.

  7. Is this an oxymoron or what….

    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.”

    However, they will be available later this year? If its polished and familiar why is it not available now?
    More FUD and future promises per usual Microsuck strategy….. give me a break will you!!!!

  8. Apple TV is a joke, as is Google TV. Anyone who thinks otherwise is really drinking the Cool-Aid. Microsoft has as good a shot as anyone, as this market hasn’t really begun to develop yet. I look forward to seeing what they will offer. I also look forward to Google’s second attempt, and to seeing if Apple can add enough new features to their box to make it worth considering. As it stands now, my preference is for the much less ambitious WD TV Live Plus HD. It’s feature set is pretty spartan, but it will play darn near anything I throw at it. It too, however, lacks content just like the more ambitious boxes out there (i.e., Google, Apple).

  9. Apple TV2 is a great device I bought it in November, but now more people got it over the holidays for $99. Problem is existing Apple Data Center sucks on bandwidth big time! Now I have to wait 30 to 60 minutes to watch a rented movie. It did not do that back in November, early December. My internet is 15Mbs! but Apple TV from Apple is slow, Netflix, everything else is fine. Not renting again until Apple opens up the new North Carolina data centre and fixes the problem.

  10. As far as Steve Jobs taking the stage at CES…this should be easy to spot before the keynote. His jet has an N number of N2N. The plane would be parked at McCarran Airport and could be spotted from Las Vegas Blvd S across from the Emerald Green Golf Course (where the Welcome to Las Vegas sign is).

    While I don’t expect to see him there, I’ll keep an eye out and report back if I see anything.

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