I think that this could be a pretty good product that I would like. I think that this could be something that would help simplify my setup.
Here is what I hope the announcement will be:
- The box will be about the size of a Roku or Apple TV
- It would run a version of Windows that has been stripped to only allow Windows Media Center to run.
- Windows Media Center already supports Netflix streaming
- Windows Media Center plugins would still be allowed to run
- This would help prevent software conflicts
- The box would automatically update itself from Microsoft's servers
- These devices would also be Media Center Extenders
- This would allow you to buy a few of them for a house, and be able to watch the same content in all rooms.
- There would be two SKUs. One with a hard drive for content, and one that would only stream content from other sources.
- The SKU with the hard drive would allow the user to store content, and playback from the local hard drive.
- These would also support Zune Marketplace to get access to video and audio content (as the Xbox 360 does).
- These devices would also be UPnP AV client.
- These would support USB or UPnP TV tuners, to allow viewing or recording (for the SKU that has the hard drive) of TV content.
Since Microsoft already has the Xbox, this device would need to be cheaper than the existing versions of the Xbox. I would think that the version without the hard drive would be $100, and the version with the hard drive would be $200.