Friday, 18 January 2013

A fresh start for Microsoft?

Originally posted on the Reckless New Media website.

To the 'delight' of thousands of browser-testers worldwide, Microsoft rolled out Internet Explorer across Xbox 360s around the world a fortnight or so ago, almost instantly making it the most popular TV web browser in the world. The browser's based on IE9, sharing many - but not all - of the same features. In the longer term future that may mean Internet Explorer becoming fragmented in to two separate browsers, like the good old days of Internet Explorer for Mac. Whilst it may seem unlikely, MS do have a bit of a history of exactly that sort of behaviour.

In any case, it's quite a coup. Neither Google nor Apple have yet managed to properly penetrate that area of the market, and Microsoft certainly have a huge advantage in already having the device in many homes. It could mean a bright future for the computing Colossus; along with their partnership with Nokia and the new Surface tablet, they are in a position where they could make a significant dent in Apple's current position. So long as they play their cards right, anyway ... and even more importantly, the move also opens the possibility of utilising the Kinect to add a feature suggested by Opera in 2009.

Added to this the rumours washing around Wall Street that Microsoft may be looking to acquire Netflix, it all points to Microsoft making a very determined push to stay put as top dog in the industry.

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