Ina Fried

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Microsoft Talks Up Xbox 360 While Staying Mum on Its Successor

Microsoft is no doubt cooking up the next Xbox in Redmond, but the company isn’t yet ready to share details.

Mehdi Tellem and Kafka

“All I’ll say about our current and future investment is [that it is] about doing things that are big and premium,” said Yusuf Mehdi, head of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment business, speaking at D: Dive Into Media. “Other people will try some lower-end things; what we will do is things that are big and beautiful.”

The goal, Mehdi said, is to have premium content, voice control, and to be able to do things you have never done before.

On the premium content front, Microsoft is once again dabbling in producing original material. Former CBS executive Nancy Tellem talked about the 125-person production studio Microsoft has opened in Santa Monica with a goal of having its first fruits land in the living room later this year.

On the distribution front, Mehdi said that the company isn’t looking to compete with cable TV and satellite, but instead intends to be a good partner with those companies. (Microsoft does have a separate TV software business that powers services such as AT&T’s U-verse.)

Mehdi also rattled off a series of new statistics on how well the current console — which has been on the market since 2006 — continues to do.

As for any details on the rumored Xbox 720, Mehdi refused to budge. “I’ll politely decline any comment.”

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald