Reuters is reporting that sources close to Microsoft have confirmed that the company has been courting TV networks to license their programming for a new online pay-television subscription offering. The TV content would be delivered through the Xbox 360 game console and potentially be available to Windows Media Center powered devices like the new Windows Media Center Embedded set-tops recently showcased at IDF 2010. It’s unclear, however, if Microsoft plans to become a “virtual cable operator” or if they will become the middleman for networks to push their content to Microsoft powered devices like EPSN has already done using the Xbox LIVE service. Another option being served up is that Microsoft would partner with TV operators so that Xbox 360 users could authenticate their subscription and access programming through the console as an additional network receiver (Note: Microsoft has already done this with AT&T U-verse). Whatever direction Microsoft plans to take, the tipsters state that Microsoft is at least 12 months away from launching such a service.
Tags: Microsoft, TV, Windows Media Center, Windows Media Center Embedded, Xbox 360
Filed in: Content Providers, Entertainment PCs, Industry Buzz, Streaming Media Devices