Redmond expects that upwards of 40 content providers will eventually offer their wares on Xbox TV, but no over-the-air channels will be available. So local Monica Day fans need to get out their rabbit ears to watch Columbus's favorite traffic reporter.
Netflix, Hulu, ESPN3 - all on Xbox TV
Many of the standard digital television "channels" are on-board for the launch of Xbox TV, including Netflix, Hulu, ESPN3, the BBC, and Vudu. Separate subscriptions are required for most of those content providers. Free services, like YouTube, are also in the mix.
Microsoft recently demoed Xbox TV's interface which looks similar to Windows Phone 7, or even the upcoming Windows 8. Expect a copious amount of sliding tiles with the title text cut off.
Xbox TV also responds to voice commands, plus Windows Phone owners -- all 50 of them -- can use their devices to manage the interface and content. The Zune Store is also part of the fun, and of course, Xbox Live games remain central to the entire experience. A required yearly gold subscription to Xbox Live costs around $60.
Can Microsoft succeed in TV where Apple and Google failed?
Late Apple CEO, Steve Jobs famously called Apple TV one of his biggest failures. Google's digital television initiative also runs counter to their success with Android. Does Microsoft stand a better chance in this market?
Given the popularity of the Xbox 360 and Xbox Live, with nearly 35 million active users, Microsoft stands a decent chance with Xbox TV. They might even sell a few more Windows Phone handsets!
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