Microsoft has been quiet for a little while, but it was always apparent that Microsoft has big, long-term, plans for the Xbox from the start. Now, Microsoft will encourage all Xbox users to update their consoles shortly – tomorrow, in fact. The new Xbox updates are of the streaming kind as Microsoft attempts to pick up where Apple TV and Roku left off.
The company will be offering streaming television to subscribers through the Verizon network. Over the next month or so, Microsoft will offer U.S. residents a chance to stream ESPN, Fios TV, and the Syfy network. Next year, the company is poised to offer those within the United States HBO Go and Xfinity.
Generally, when companies update a console, only those within the United States can take advantage of these updates.
Often, this is not the fault of the company that makes the console, but of the countries that require a hefty fee when it comes to companies offering streaming content. This time around, Microsoft will be offering streaming television through the Xbox in Canada and in some European countries as well as in the United States.
Canadian Xbox owners can expect to get Maple Leaf Sports and TMZ through Rogers (not much, but it’s a start). Microsoft has stated that Europe, Australia, and Asia will also be able to stream through the Xbox, but those channel line-ups haven’t been announced quite yet. This is a refreshing move from Microsoft, since most companies tend to skip over those parts of the world outside of the U.S. On the other hand, it does make sense that Microsoft would include emerging markets such as Asia.
After all, some companies (including IBM) plan to earn a large portion of revenue from emerging markets within the next year or so. Microsoft has taken its cue from these companies by considering markets outside of the U.S. It will take awhile for Microsoft to be able to offer a number of streaming channels in other countries, but this is something that residents around the world can expect the company to work hard at. Seemingly, offering streaming television through the Xbox is a great thing, and Microsoft is well ahead of the curve here.
A New Interface
One of the biggest changes that Xbox 360 users will see comes in the form of a new interface. Instead of the familiar Xbox interface, the new Xbox update will include a block interface that really resembles what can be seen on the Windows Phone 7. If you’re familiar with this interface, you know that it’s very simple to use. If not, you’ll quickly see why Microsoft chose this format. Not only will Microsoft be offering live streaming television to Xbox owners, but the company will also offer on-demand programming.
The interface that Microsoft has chosen will make choosing an on-demand program or streaming television station easier to see and select.
Microsoft’s future is looking very bright at the moment (investors take note). The new Xbox updates are promising and Xbox owners across the world are already looking forward to what Microsoft is offering. If you have an Xbox 360, stay tuned for updating information – you don’t want to miss out on this one!