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Microsoft in talks about TV service for Xbox

by Kelly MacNeil on November 30, 2010

In an effort to compete with the growing demand for Google TV, Microsoft is looking to create a subscription-based TV service for its popular gaming console Xbox. The software giant recently held talks with TV networks about viable ways of providing streaming content to compete with Google, as well as Apple and Netflix, Retuers reports.

There are a number of different options in play, but analysts believe that Microsoft is hoping to launch a cable operating system that will make it possible to access channels such as ABC, CBS or Fox through the Xbox. Users could also subscribe to individuals premium channels such as Showtime and HBO.

Though the launch of the idea is likely months away, Xbox users already have several options at their disposal including being able to view ESPN through the Xbox Live platform. Microsoft has yet to comment on their reported plans.

The advent of services such as Hulu and Netflix has caused some industry experts to become concerned about the impact it could have on cable television. Because there are now a variety of affordable ways to watch shows online, many individuals may be choosing to eschew traditional cable all together. Still, others believe that the growth of certain types of TV services will allow cable companies to target specific groups of people.

"We think the more competition the better, we will price and package it in such a way that we still make the dual revenue stream," a media executive told InformationWeek. "We could probably charge more for interactive advertising,"

Although Microsoft is in preliminary discussions, they are already behind their main competitors. Apple currently offers 99 cent rentals of certain TV shows, and Google TV is slowly making its way into living rooms across the country.

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