Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Microsoft Shows Off Its New Video/Xbox Service

So here you go: As I reported last night, Microsoft has added several more video providers to its Xbox video service, and has deals with Comcast, Verizon and Time Warner’s HBO, among others.

The video below gives you the gist: You can control some of this directly on your Xbox via voice control, motion control and a Windows smartphone. Again, the key point here is that you won’t get any of this stuff on your machine unless you’re already paying for it through a cable subscription.

This is incremental stuff but it’s still interesting. A source who’s played with the new service says it’s genuinely cool. Just as important, given that Microsoft has sold some 50 million compatible machines, it has (potential) leverage to do some really interesting stuff.

This is where Google TV would like to be, and it’s why Google is out pitching content guys for a relaunch this fall.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik