It would appear that Microsoft is planning an Xbox 360 service which would take on Google TV by offering content streamed over the Internet. Microsoft is reportedly in talks with networks and content providers to license content which could be accessed for a monthly fee. It is not exactly clear what Microsoft is planning at this point, but another possibility could be some sort of interactive service that would go along with a users current cable or satellite service.
Whatever they end up doing, it’s likely that it will be something quite different from Google TV or Apple TV, so stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.
Ok, so we lied about being done with the contestant interviews. We have two more that were submitted before the deadline, so we’re going to give them both the chance to have their voices heard! First up, we have Justin Brannock, who is vying for the LA loft. An actor, photographer, web developer and event planner, Brannock has a diverse background and a passion for technology. If you think he truly is the “Host with the Most”, please vote for him every day until August 20th. Continue reading after the break for the full interview.
We have been hearing rumors of a premium Hulu service for some time now, and have been speculating as to whether or not it would end up on Google TV. The rumors have now been put to rest, thanks to today’s announcement of “Hulu Plus.” For $10 dollars a month, customers will gain access to entire seasons of shows that are currently available in limited numbers on the free service. So far we know there will be apps for iPod and iPad (and surely iPhone as well), Samsung and Sony connected TV and Blu-ray devices, as well as PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The inclusion of Sony, makers of the first HDTV with Google TV built in, leads us to believe that Google TV will eventually be supported as well, although no official announcement has been made at this time. We will continue to bring you more on this story as it develops, for now you can visit the official Hulu Plus page, and see a video from Hulu after the break.
The days of sitting at a desk on a computer are beginning to grow shorter and shorter. As smartphones become faster, cheaper, and easier to use, more and more people are checking Facebook, writing emails, updating their Twitter, etc, without the use of their laptops and PCs. It seems the folks out there in Redmond are starting to catch wind of this, given last week’s (official at least) unveiling of the Kinect; a motion detecting add-on for the Xbox 360 which allows users to interact with software using only their physical movements.
Aside from the obvious gaming elements, the Kinect seeks to provide a new level of interaction in the living room. Here are some of the ways in which the Kinect will look to go head to head with Apple and Google:
Motion controlled UI interaction:
Users will be able to navigate through screens and menus using their hands, for example, while browsing Netflix.
Music and video can be paused, stopped, or started using simple voice commands.
Aside from the usual suspects: Netflix, Facebook, Last.fm, Twitter, etc, Microsoft has signed an exclusive deal with ESPN to bring more than 3,500 live and on demand HD sporting events to Xbox 360.
This last point, however, does come with a side note. Currently, only users with certain ISPs have access to this new content. Surely Microsoft will be working hard to expand this new service to additional markets, as this exclusive offering will surely help boost sales.
The Kinect is expected to cost around $150 and should be in stores by November, right in time for holiday shopping. It will be interesting to see how this new device will compare to Google TV, and what kind of impact, good or bad, it will have.
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