Yes -- in the very near future, not only will we be able to stay put on the couch when switching the TV from 'Teen Mom' to 'American Idol,' we won't even have to lift a burdensome remote control and point at our cable boxes to do so. Instead, all we'll have to do is grunt a command or swing a hand at the screen.
James Baldwin, Microsoft's chief technology officer for television, said the company's Kinect technology, which allows users to interact with their video game consoles without controllers, could be adapted for hands-free remote control use, Variety reports.
Conan O'Brien's deal with TBS may have thrown every TV pundit and pontificator for a loop, but here's one that will make your head spin clear around your neck. (WARNING: TV Squad and its parent companies will not be held responsible for any head and/or neck trauma that may occur while reading this article).
While everyone thought Conan would simply jump to Fox because it was the last remaining network without a strong late night slot, Coco and company were being courted by all sorts of networks and media outlets, including ... Microsoft???
That's right, the technology giant had been talking to Conan about a deal that would have brought his nightly talk show to their XBox Live service.
Well, Apple didn't take my suggestion to replace Microsoft as the new sponsor of Seth MacFarlane's comedy special. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stepped up. Actually, it's Warner Bothers Pictures' Sherlock Holmes that'll sponsor the MacFarlane variety special.
Microsoft backed out of Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show when they caught a run through of the program and objected to the humor. Goodness only knows what they thought they were getting with Seth, but it's all water under the bridge now.
Seemed like a win-win situation, right? But Variety is reporting that this sync deal is no longer. The reason? Microsoft is a bit weary of 'Family Guy's' off-the-cuff, risqué brand of humor.
Actually, the entire series of ads might make you want to lose your lunch. Sure, watching '90s Superman Dean Cain randomly pop up in people's homes dressed like Bentley from The Jeffersons is a little funny. But it's all over once the "jokes" and the puke start to fly. I'm not sure why Microsoft thought the image of a woman violently vomiting after stumbling upon her man friend's favorite porn site would sell more copies of Explorer 8. View the ad after the jump
These new ads are trying to say you shouldn't pay a lot for a computer, especially those damn Macs that, well, everyone who uses them really loves. (Disclaimer: yes, I'm typing this on a Mac.)
We talked about this when they announced that Jerry Seinfeld had signed on to promote Windows for Microsoft. If you were watching the big NFL kickoff Thursday night, you might have seen what that looked like. If you missed it, it's embedded after the jump. I've watched the commercial a few times now, and I'm torn. I agreed with Brad's take in the original post, that Seinfeld may be a few years past the point of ideal pitchman.
That being said, the first half of the commercial is quirky, and pretty funny. The idea of stumbling on Bill Gates in a discount shoe shop is an amusing place to start. And Gates does a good job as the straight man for Seinfeld. I really like the odd cut to the family watching through the glass. "They run tight." It all pays off nicely with that familiar image of Gates on his Platinum Shoe Circus Clown Club card. It loses steam when they leave the mall. A moist and chewy cake computer? I think the writers got tripped up by the iffy tag. The future. Delicious.
There are two problems with this strategy. First off, while he was an icon of the 90's, Jerry Seinfeld hasn't been relevant for a few years now (Bee Movie didn't do so well, despite his major attempts at promotion). American Express got him when he was a big deal and I'm sure more people used their production as a result, but I'm not so sure that would work now. Plus, it's not like he needs the money.
Second, the Vista operating system has gotten bad press. I mean baaaaaad press. Much of it deserved. Microsoft would be better served by having Jerry pitch whatever operating system came next rather than Vista, because there is a lot of negative publicity there to counteract.
Netflix currently lets users stream selected content using a web browser or a dedicated set top box developed by Roku. You won't need to pay any additional fees to watch Netflix videos. But you will need a Netflix subscription. Microsoft says the Xbox 360 will be the only video game console to support Netflix videos, but I wouldn't be surprised if what Microsoft is really saying is that the Xbox 360 will be the first video game console with Netflix support.
Microsoft has also announced that customers will be able to purchase and download videos from NBC and Universal. Titles will include Battlestar Galactica, The Office, Monk, The Mummy, and the Bourne Supremacy. The videos will be available in high definition. Microsoft says there are now over 10,000 movies and TV shows available through the Xbox Live marketplace.
At least that's the somewhat sarcastic conclusion I'm jumping to. As I started watching the east coast feed, an email bounced into the TV Squad inbox from reader 'Jay.' He noted that when he tried to record The Middleman on his PC, he was greeted with an error message. I had to wait three hours for the regular airing on the left coast, but I dusted off an old Media Center PC and got that very same error, as you see in the picture. I like to think that Wendy is showing her shock and outrage at the snafu in that shot. But wait, there's more ... after the jump.