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BALMER BLUES: Chromecast: Another Missed Opportunity for Microsoft

BALMER green vf2Remember Web TV?

Why can’t Microsoft market?

The company has placed its toes into the TV market at least since  it s purchase of Web TV in 1996.  This history is a long one … with promises, showy purchases, set top boxes, creation of MSNBC, and claims the X Box would dominate the living room.   For example (from Wiki),” UltimateTV was a DirecTV receiver, with integrated DVR and Internet access capabilities. It was Microsoft’s second product to integrate a built in satellite tuner with a digital video recorder and Internet access in a set-top box. It was released on October 26, 2000. The software to decode and view digital video programming was derived from WebTV. UltimateTV had support for picture-in-picture and could record up to 35 hours of video content. The internet capabilities were provided by Microsoft TV wEB tvPlatform software, which was used for the TV guide. The TV guide could display programming schedule for 14 days, and recording could be scheduled for any of the shows. It could also be used to access E-mail.[1] However, Microsoft lost distribution when DIRECTV accepted an acquisition bid by Echostar, who had their own DVR. By 2003, it was taken off the market, even though it is still supported by DirecTV.”

Before his deathe, Balmer’s nemesis Steve Jobs cliamed to have “cracked TV.”  Perhaps, but Google seems ot have beaten bothe Steves.  Why is this?  My hypothesis is simple.  Microsoft is obsessed with not competing within its own divisions, even when part so the company face the fate of buggy whip makers.  The obvious example is the Syrface RT.  Imagine the impact if Mr. Balmer had bundles TV services int into the RT?  I suspect this was discussed and someone objected that the Surface would hurt X box sales.

And Now ……

Google Chromecast: What is it and how does it compare?

By , Updated: Thursday, July 25, 7:00 AM E-mail the writer

Google is taking another swing at commanding the television with its new Chromecast, a low-cost accessory that plugs into a TV and allows users to stream video, share tabs from the Google Chrome browser, or play music from their smartphones, tablet or computer on the big screen.The big selling point? The Chromecast lets users stream or share while also allowing the device to do other tasks.

Google Chromecast: What is it and how does it compare?

Google Chromecast: What is it and how does it compare?

Hayley Tsukayama 7:00 AM ET

Google ups the ante in smart televisions with a small, cheap solution.

With the Chromecast, analysts said, Google appears to have learned a lesson from some of its own missteps and those of its competitors. The small device, which fits into a TV’s HDMI port, eliminates some of the usual frustrations with TV streaming. For example, while Apple TV and, to a lesser extent, the Xbox allow users to beam some content from their mobile devices to the television, the mobile devices then can’t be used for anything else at the same time. Google says that the Chromecast will enable multitasking on the laptop, tablet or other device without interrupting what’s streaming on the TV.  READMORE at the Washington Post


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