Microsoft (MSFT) is building Netflix (NFLX) instant streaming into its Windows Media centre software. You can already watch streaming Netflix movies on PCs. But this basically means it’ll be easier to browse and watch them from six feet away, say, with a wireless mouse or remote control.
This probably won’t do much for Netflix signups or Microsoft Windows sales. (It might disrupt Microsoft’s business selling and renting movies, but that’s not a big money maker for Microsoft anyway.)
More importantly, it’s another nice-to-have that Apple (AAPL) doesn’t have. So far, Apple hasn’t allowed anyone to build apps for its “Front Row” software — essentially, its version of Windows Media centre — or its Apple TV set-top boxes.
Netflix and Microsoft work closely together. Microsoft’s XBox 360 is currently the exclusive video game console partner for Netflix streaming; Netflix uses Microsoft’s Silverlight to stream videos to PCs and Macs; and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings sits on Microsoft’s board.
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