When Microsoft announced the Xbox One last year, it heavily promoted the TV-centric features of the device. Microsoft actually had a grander vision for television, however, one that appears to have ultimately been scrapped.
Prior to Microsoft’s Xbox One reveal, reports surfaced that the company wouldn’t unleash one new Xbox console, but two: The Xbox One as well as a set-top box more focused on TV content than gaming. Further reports indicated Microsoft wanted to create its own subscription TV service, potentially called Xbox Live Diamond (a step up from Xbox Live Gold), but problems with channel operators torpedoed the plans. The Xbox One still ended up with significant television capabilities, including several streaming apps and the ability to control existing cable and satellite set-top boxes, but what shipped lacked the grandeur Microsoft had planned.
On the computer front, Microsoft has practically abandoned TV entirely. The company’s Windows Media Center software is essentially dead, as it now only exists as an add-on pack for Windows 8 Pro and lacks significant updates since its Windows 7 iteration. While third-party TV tuner software still exists, most lack the quality found in Media Center, which mostly received raved reviews when it launched. Part of the problem can be placed on consumer habits, as TV tuners haven’t exactly become a hot commodity, but the market appears to have shifted to an area where Microsoft can still compete – and perhaps compete even better: hardware.
This article is brought to you in partnership with Neowin.