The Future of the Living Room

Summer is a transition time for many people: the break between school years; a vacation before tackling another year of work; and for network television that’s been a guest in our living rooms for so long, summer is a time of transition between seasons.

It’s appropriate then that we are also in the middle of a fundamental transformation of the technology in our living rooms. Traditional broadcast and cable TV are steadily being augmented and enjoyed in new ways such as ‘time-shifted’ and on-demand TV via DVRs and other devices like the Xbox, PCs, tablets and even smartphones. Similarly, DVDs are being replaced by on-demand movie delivery via services such as Netflix and Hulu. And the standard 30- or 60-minute commercial program is no longer the only game in town – today’s entertainment options are a vast cornucopia of content from ultra-short to full length, all delivered over the Internet.

At Microsoft, we believe there’s also a shift underway in how consumers access and control this ever-growing avalanche of TV shows, sports programming, movies, online videos, video games, music and more. At E3, we dropped a few hints regarding how we plan to enhance and expand the entertainment options available to consumers.

Our philosophy is pretty simple: All the entertainment you want, with the people you care about, made easy… This video brings that philosophy to life, while showing off what the combination of Xbox, Kinect, Bing and voice recognition can do for your entertainment experience.

As you can see, integration of products and services like Xbox, Kinect and Bing is at the heart of our strategy. This is just one more example of how Bing is more than just Microsoft’s search engine, competing to win against Google – Bing is also a strategic asset that makes many other Microsoft products better and more attractive to our customers. Thanks to Bing, Kinect and our voice recognition technology, we envision a future where the words “Hey, where’s the remote?” are as outdated as eight-track tapes and rotary telephones.

We also believe in finding new ways to bring people together. Take Avatar Kinect, a new feature we launched last month. Avatar Kinect lets you hang out with your friends, watch entertainment with them, and keep up a running dialogue, whether they’re in the same town or halfway around the world.

This is just a hint of what’s to come. We’ll be rolling out further advances in entertainment over the next few months. Keep an eye on and the Microsoft News Center to see what’s next.

Posted by Frank X. Shaw
Corporate Vice President, Corporate Communications, Microsoft

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