Maybe we’re missing something here, but it seems like the forthcoming live TV service that Microsoft announced on Monday at E3 is basically a way to get TV on your TV.
Microsoft’s Mike Delman talked to Brier Dudley of the Seattle Times in an interview published yesterday, and this part of the transcript was a real head-scratcher:
Q: Will live TV be universal, or will it be regional TV services provided by whoever your cable provider is?
A: It will be tied to either a satellite broadcast company or a cable company. So in international markets, you’ll just have one provider. In the U.S., it will be bifurcated by region, by market. You’ll be a Comcast guy [in Seattle], for example.
Q: So you’ll have to be a Comcast subscriber, similar to the way you need a subscription to get the ESPN content on the Xbox now?
So apparently the big benefit of the service is being able to search for TV shows from within Xbox Live using Bing and voice commands, instead of having to log out of Xbox Live and click through the cable company’s program guide using your remote control.
That’s kind of cool, but not revolutionary. It certainly has nothing to do with cable-cutting or TV over the Internet.
Plus, Microsoft hasn’t announced any partners yet, so it’s not even clear whether Comcast (or Time Warner, or whoever your cable provider is) will be on the list.
Delman also mentioned in the interview that Xbox Live will be “built into the PC” in Windows 8. So presumably that means if you have a TV provider and Xbox Live and get a Windows 8 computer, you’ll also be able to watch TV on your PC.
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