Just before CES we speculated that Microsoft may introduce a cheap Windows TV box to compete with Google TV, Apple TV and other low cost set top boxes. The devices didn’t show up at CES (but we did see come impressive Windows Embedded devices). An article on buisnessinsider.com says that new boxes maybe on the way.
The idea of a Windows TV box has resurfaced with the news that Tom Gibbons is now in charge of the TV Business, he moves from the Windows Phone team but previously was head of Microsoft Hardware division. He is now corporate VP in charge of the TV and Service business and maybe takes his hardware experience and partner experience with Windows Phone 7 to the group.
The article goes on to says that:
Microsoft has been rumored to be working on some sort of new TV or video service since last fall. One report said the devices would run the Windows Embedded operating system overlaid with the Media Center interface and start around $200. They were supposed to debut at CES in January, but never showed up.
With Gibbons now leading the charge, the company is probably trying to find hardware partners to build boxes to run the service — just like it did with Windows Phone 7. And just like Google initially did with Google TV.
Embedded devices did show up at CES, while not on public display Microsoft did have Windows Embedded powered Media Center devices on show to the press, including low cost devices. So maybe now a hardware guy is in change we will see new set top boxes but I think Microsoft will continue working with Windows Embedded partners.
Windows Media Center box powered by Windows Embedded at CES