At the DigitalLife conference in New York City today, Joe Belfiore, corporate vice-president of entertainment and devices for Microsoft's eHome division, is to announce its new high-quality television broadcasts over the Internet using its Windows and Xbox 360.
Americans with Windows Vista Premium or Ultimate will be able to turn their computer into a TV broadcast center. The center will then send signals over a home network to Xbox 360s, which will display the TV contents in high-definition. Contents will include free ad-supported TV shows, MSNBC newsfeeds, live programs, and Xbox's personal videos.
For customers without an Xbox 360, Microsoft announced a line of "home media extenders" -- little black boxes that sit atop of a TV and decode the home network signals. Microsoft will directly compete with Apple in fledging Internet TV broadcasts.
The pieces of Microsoft's grand strategy are starting to fall into place, and Xbox 360 is a key element in Microsoft's Internet TV.
Microsoft has already plotted its next move: the garage. Ford Motor Co. recently announced that its Sync entertainment system, which was co-developed with Microsoft, will be available in almost all Ford vehicles later this year. Sync is to able to work to Windows Vista and transfers media files, Internet TV and other contents from a home computer into a Ford vehicle.