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Microsoft

Xbox Sequel Rumors 219

no1here writes "PC Format has an article about a supersecret device from Microsoft code-named HomeStation. Supposedly it will be the home entertainment system that Microsoft has always wanted. It will tie into Microsoft's .NET strategy, delivering video-on-demand, high speed internet connection, and communicate wirelessly with portable devices. It might even be able to play Xbox games, along with PC games."
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Xbox Sequel Rumors

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  • Oh good (Score:1, Funny)

    by cheezedawg ( 413482 )
    Now everybody can buy these to sell on ebay too.
    • Or at least just the box, with a description that clearly says, in bold, 28pt, THIS IS ONLY THE BOX. THERE IS NO XBOX^2 INSIDE. YOU ARE BIDDING ON A PIECE OF CARDBOARD.

      Then, people can bid it up to $1,000, and whine when they don't get their new shiny XBOX^2 in the mail.

  • didn't M$ talk about there plans to do this like last year? if someone is using ie - could they post the M$ page that talks about it here?
  • this is old news. this info has been around since before the xbox release
  • by Glonk ( 103787 ) on Friday January 04, 2002 @04:47PM (#2788038) Homepage
    This came up months ago [theregister.co.uk], everybody had a laugh. In fact, Slashdot posted about it [slashdot.org].

    It's a hoax, though. But probably not too far off from what MS will eventually do anyway.
    • Actually, it wasn't a Hoax, just a project that got shelved after the issue of PCFormat it was announced in went to the printers... PCFormat was a little annoyed about it at the time as their scoop rapidly turned into "non-news". I'm not sure if the story about the homestation getting cancelled was posted on PCFormats website or not (and I can't check as the site has been slashdotted), but it was definately in the magazine itself.
  • Repeat (Score:2, Informative)

    by John_McKee ( 100458 )
    This has already been posted on slashdot.

    http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=01/09/06/2322 25 9&mode=thread

    -john

  • The Xbox itself too was overhyper long before it became available. And even then it wasn't really available except in crashed form in store displays.

    Last I heard PS2 was still outsold the Xbox and the Gamecube combined this Xmas season...

    Xmas, Xbox, hmm, coincidence? The holy box?
    • by Steveftoth ( 78419 ) on Friday January 04, 2002 @04:57PM (#2788103) Homepage
      I don't think that the number of PS2 units outsold the xbox AND GC, but the number of games sold for PS2 was crazy.
      According to http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20011227/tc/tech_v ideogames_sales_dc_3.html
      During early december, The ps2 had 8, ps1 had 4 gc had 2 , gba had 4 , gbc had 1 and Xbox had one game in the top twenty best selling.

      Going by those numbers it's going to be hard for anyone but Nintendo to get rid of the PS2. At least Sega will be making games for every system, even if Shenmue 2 will only be for X-Box.
      • Shenmue [one] sucked! Most expensive game ever [rumors] and it blew.

        And yes, the REAL numbers showed more PS2's sold than Xbox or GC.

        Rememeber? GC [nintendo] said they sold so many more than the xbox, but the same day M$ said they sold so many more GC's.... in reality the numbers showed PS2 sold only slightly higher amounts than the GC or Xbox.

        Either way, I'm sticking with my DC, Linux box[en] and XPbox... no home station for me!
    • Way wrong!!!!! (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Nice, make up facts as you go along. Dont worry about that your talking out your ass!

      According to some of the gaming web sites:

      #1 PS2 sold around 1.2 Million

      #2 Xbox was #2 in sales with just over 1 million

      #3 GameCube was around 6 or 7 hundred thousand.

      And for your information, I have yet to have a game lockup on my XBox. However I noticed you have to hit reset a bunch of times on the PS 2 to have it work correctly. Turn it on, then hit the reset for it to start. Start a new game, put the DVD in, then hit reset. Reset, Reset, Reset!

      However the XBox doesnt have a reset AND it doesnt need one! Put your DVD in, the game starts automatically. Eject the DVD, game stops automatically. WOW it actually is better than the PS 2 in this reguard. Not to mention the graphics!!

      Try being informed for a change!
    • didn't mary have a holy box?
      • Dude, I hope you know that you're not funny. I mean, I'm not even offended by the obvious religious trash-talk, and I still find your comment pretty stupid.

        Grow up.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Xmas, Xbox, hmm, coincidence? The holy box?


      No, no, no. Since the "X" is often seen as an attempt to remove religion from Christmas then it would be the *Unholy* Box. 'Bout sums it up really.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Since the "X" is often seen as an attempt to remove religion from Christmas

        That is actually a bullshit urban legend. Check out Snopes [snopes2.com]. The X actually stands for Ch (as in Greek letter "Chi") and is an abbreviation of Christ.
  • Xbox is cool (Score:3, Interesting)

    by !Xabbu ( 1769 ) on Friday January 04, 2002 @04:49PM (#2788045) Homepage
    I rented one over new years.. I liked it.. of course, the last console I played on was an Atari, but I thought the graphics where cool.. the menuing system was kinda neat too within just the xbox itself. The controlers where nice although kinda big.

    I should say that it kills me to admit I like anything MS, but.. well.. it just shows that I am open minded I guess.. :)
    • The controller is huge...
      I work at a store that sells these things, and I can barely hold on to them.

      It's quit entertaining to watch little kids trying to hold on to the beasts and press the buttons at the same time.
      • Does anyone make after market controller's ? I had the same problem with the N64. My mother really liked Zelda but the controllers were wrong for her hands. I couldn't find any aftermarket controllers at all :(
    • In order have have a fair comparison, you would need to also play PS2 and Gamecube.
      you eally have no idea which one is better, only that its better then that atari you played.
      Its ok to be open-minded, but don't be stupid about it ;)

      Since I have a philosphical beef with MS, it doesn't matter how good there products maybe, I won't buy them. Unless they change some of there business tactics.

      winy added for the humor impaired.
      • She didn't say it was better, she said she liked it.

        I like emacs, but everyone knows vi is better. actually thats not true, i dont like emacs.
      • In order have have a fair comparison, you would need to also play PS2 and Gamecube.

        While I personally agree with this statement -- I would have to say that it doesn't matter which is better. If the person likes the system, they like the system.

        I own all three. My preference is still undecided between the XBox and Gamecube. Playstation 2 is straight out, even though it does have a handful of name saving titles. With those few titles though come horrible load times, terribly slow memory card access, the worst visuals of all three systems, only 2 controller ports, inferior video output options, mostly crappy games, and lots of other crap.

        Anyway, all that aside, I can understand the philisophical beef with Microsoft, but SONY isn't any better. Not in the least bit. In some cases, much worse. And how much you want to bet they don't renew the Mad Kat's Liscense? (Knock out the 3rd parties, sell nothing but first party stuff -- corner the market with overpriced memory cards... Yikes!)

        That leaves only Nintendo. Nintendo have been playing really nice the past few years, but they too have a dark history.

        In the end -- it matters most which games you like most. That's why I bought all three systems. If I had to recommend just one -- I could feel comfortable telling someone to buy an XBox.
    • Why is this marked as "Troll"? The guy is just giving his opinion. I guess if he'd said he hated the xbox but loved the PS2 then he would have been marked 'INTERESTING' or 'INFORMATIVE'.
  • Supersecret? (Score:1, Redundant)

    by rodbegbie ( 4449 )
    The project is *so* supersecret that it appeared on Slashdot three months ago.

    http://slashdot.org/articles/01/09/06/2322259.sh tm l

    rOD.
  • I love it - this kind of rumour is the thing that will kill any sales... remember Osbourne computer?
  • by IIOIOOIOO ( 517375 ) on Friday January 04, 2002 @04:53PM (#2788068)
    Step 1) Microsoft develops a technology infrastructure to support a full range of set-top-box applications.

    Step 2) Microsoft deploys a subset of those technologies in the form of a game console.

    Step 3) Microsoft releases a packaged version of their set-top-box mislabeled as "Windows XP Embedded" to see how applications running under it work in the marketplace.

    Step 4) Microsoft takes the lessons learned from both deployments to deploy a super-box.

    Step 4 is the only one to not have happened yet, but it's a pretty obvious step in the progression. I mean, look at what's in XP Embedded and you can see that you could almost drag-n-drop to create the box under discussion. The real shame is that they're selling companies the tools to create cookie-cutter STBs all the while planning to squash them with M$s real deal.
    • You forgot step 5.

      Step 5) Take over the world.
    • Step 1) Steal Underpants.
      Step 2) .....
      Step 3) Takeover the World!
    • soon we will have Billy greeting us every morning w/his daily thought. He will be there watching your every move and telling you what he wants you to eat for dinner.

      Aside from the fact that I am paranoid that the XBox is just Bill's way of taking over the world I really don't like it for several reasons:

      1. the god damn controller sucks. It is just so damn big and bulky. I tried to play some hockey game at Best Buy and I just couldn't control the damn guys. Too many controller sticks and pads. I don't have hands like Shaq or anything but they should be comfortable w/in the controller.

      2. the game selection is iffy at this point. Yeah I know the PS2 was in the same boat at its release but I expected better from MS and their normal tactics.

      3. did I mention that Bill is going to be on your TV when you wake up?
  • This is pretty ridiculous. It's supposedly "super-secret" yet clearly Microsoft is intentionally leaking this information. Most of the features won't make it into the final product, because it's just hype. I wonder if this new "Home Station" will create revolutionary eco-cities like Ginger [ginger-chat.com]. And who knows, it might one day sell for $5, fit in your pocket, and double as an electric razor! Woohoo!
    • no toast? CLEARLY if I'm going to pay $5 for this all in one toy, it MUST make toast for me. and everything bagels... yeah

      Pat
    • It does seems sometimes kind of ludricous how we /.otters put attention to ALL RUMORS on the next thing that M$ will pull out... dont we have enough to do and enough to read about to spend so much freakin time in MICROSOFTs "leaks"??
      A CONTINOUS RUMOR SAYS /. HAS BEEN BOUGHT BY MICROSOFT AS A "LEAKING DEVICE!"
  • the thing w/a weblog is you want specific information., there are plenty of other places where we can read press releases from microsoft and speculate about them. spend story-energy here focusing the Linux developers, etc. rather than diffusing it in meaningless microsoft related arguments.
    • Re:Heh microsoft (Score:3, Insightful)

      by davmct ( 195217 )
      News for Nerds != Linux Developers
      You'd be surprised to find that slashdot's user base has come a long way since it was first opened. Sorry, but all techies have invaded this place you thought was home. Blame it on commercialization or the slashdot effect, but the s-dot has become a mainstay of geeks everywhere, not just the Linux uber-geeks.
  • Hmmm let me see, sell a device cheaply then charge for the services? were have we heard this before... Can you say netpliance , can you say cue cat?

    this concept, which had been tried many times before, is just not ready for prime time yet. Until the last mile equation is solved for the majority of households this kind of device is not going to work. If they aim it at a competitor to Tivo and have it play just game great, but if they expect to stream media to it and gather viewing data they are shooting themselves in the foot.

    The fact is that joe six pack WILL NOT wait to download a movie to their TV set. With most broadband barely able to make it under current loads on their networks a device that is trying to get a 300K stream to it immediatly is just going to loose out. With poor quality of service this device will die quickly.

    The sad thing is everyone knows this is the ultimate goal. For microsoft to control what we see and hear as part of our entertainemnt. Without real advances to correct some serious market defiencies that have been brought to light by recent events , such as @home tanking, microsoft is going to have another BOB on their hands.
    • The fact is that joe six pack WILL NOT wait to download a movie to their TV set.
      Umm...I get something like 400 channels, in real time, on digital cable, on the same coax that my cable modem sits on. Don't talk to me about 'waiting to watch a movie.' It's a matter of 'instead of picking the channel that's playing the movie I want, pick the movie I want playing on this channel.'

    • The fact is that joe six pack WILL NOT wait to download a movie to their TV set.

      With the rapidly increasing capacity of hard disk drives, it becomes feasible to download the current hot titles in advance. The "service" would then consist of playback from local disk. With a closed box (ie, Joe can't install unauthorized software), there's at least a fighting chance to restrict copying, a selling point that I'm sure MS would emphasize to the big movie studios. If you can keep 20 new-release titles on the disk, particularly if you make some intelligent decisions about viewer habits (eg, no chick flicks at Joe's house), such a service might be competitive with Blockbuster's outside wall and cable's pay-per-view. It might even be profitable, if you can get Joe to pay for the box, pay for the broadband connection, and the studios don't get too big of a cut.
  • by Freija Crescent ( 452135 ) on Friday January 04, 2002 @04:54PM (#2788080) Homepage Journal
    I thought the sequel was going to be called the Special Edition X-Box, code named SEX-Box.

    This fits in with Microsoft's recent trend to stick a 2 letter prefix/suffix on every thing (cf. Windows98SE, WindowsME, WindowsNT, WindowsXP etc)

    I have a really novel idea, since it is related to the PC on many levels, and we ALL know PCs are evolving at an astronomical rate, Microsoft should do the following to prevent the SEX-Box from being quickly obsoleted..

    Make the SEX-Box bigger, to allow internal components to be added..

    Make the SEX-Box equipped with PCI and AGP slots so that it can be kept up-to-date with commodity hardware.

    Make the SEX-Box compatible with off-the-shelf hardrives. Yeah i can see it now "No one will ever need more than 40GB"

    Make the SE... wait a minute.. haven't I got one of these already??

    -fc
  • "The device will finally turn the idea of digital convergence into a living room reality."

    Huh ...how about just trying to get digital convergence to pan out. Then we can worry about turning it into all sorts of stuff. A porn-outlet, a blood-caffinator, and yes if thats your "thing" a living room reality.

    blasted writers.
    • Has anyone heard of the PC?

      A PC with video out, a nice Sound Blaster 5.1 card, a network card, a TV tuner card, broadband, and a wireless mouse and keyboard will most likely cost less after a while of paying the probably bloated costs for the ms service and be a lot nicer. You could do anything with it.

      Of course, it's not as user freindly...well then just stick XP (shutter) on it...

      "Stupid people use stupid devices."
      -Anonymouse Coward
    • I personally quite enjoyed an idea a friend of mine had that was quite the opposite of convergence. Remember all those digital pictureframes? Well, buddy-o-mine thought that hooking one up to a network connection and having it download porn off of a secure connection nightly, thus giving the user an all new set of adult entertainment. Charge a monthly fee and help people get their porn fix with minimal hassle.

      He called it the Pornpliance.

      Probably not such a bad idea, since illicit entertainment seems to be the only internet-based business model that has ever made any money...
  • Hoax or no... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kitts ( 545683 ) on Friday January 04, 2002 @04:57PM (#2788104) Homepage
    It will tie into Microsoft's .NET strategy, delivering video-on-demand...

    I guess the jury's out on whether the article is a hoax, but this idea is pretty scary. Just imagine: they've trumped everyone else for the home desktop system, and so they dip into territory previously ruled by video stores, Pay Per View, and speciality movie channels.

    Monopoly? Nah. Monopoly would be too good a word to use for them.
    • With a behemoth like AOL/Time Warner making noise about pushing into this territory (see this Steve Case speech [aoltimewarner.com], about halfway down), I think it's a good thing to have a company with Microsoft's resources give them some competition. Odds are we'll end up not with a monopoly, but an oligopoly.
    • they've trumped everyone else...

      it sure seems like it. i mean, we've been talking digital convergence since ~95/96 and this sounds like the first real contender. sure, pcs have tried to look more like consoles, and vice versa, and excluding the dell webappliance, this seems like the first reasonable stab at it.

      although, as i type this i seem to remember intel trying something similar to this in ~97, a big black box and a giant tv screen, but back then DVD still had small penetration.

      maybe the market will be ripe in 2 years when the xbox becomes passe.

      -s
  • Games-wise, it's anticipated HomeStation will play both PC and Xbox titles.

    MS is entering some interesting territory, they are COMPETING with their own customers. Compaq, Dell, IBM *also* sell PCs for this purpose... I wonder how they will feel when the XBox v2.0 starts to serve the same functions, in the home setting, as their product.

    One of the cardinal rules of business: Never take a product 'direct' to market, and compete with your customers with the product that they BUY FROM YOU. It will leave a bad taste in the mouths of the people who *used* to be your customers.. there will be desire, on their part, to collectively THUMP you.

    The Xbox is the single-handedly most astonishingly brash thing MS is doing right now - they are really looking at taking over the Home-PC market. Will XBox v4.0 be a Proprietary Computer? Will MS start selling full featured PC work-a-likes, sure they might call them appliances... but if it smells like a monopoly, and acts like a monopoly....
    • Well Apple basically did this... They were the maker of the whole widget for years, then came the clones. Then Apple took a big hammer to them and yes there is still resentment about that today but Apple lives on. Granted they killed much smaller customers of the Mac OS than M$ would be putting the thump on. It will be interesting to see how that pans out. Personally I hope for it, let them turn the PC makers into producers of machines pre-loaded with Linux/Win (maybe Lindows if that pans out). The PC market could use some fragmentation to bring some competing groups back into play.
  • I'll buy it, though I'm only willing to pay 200.00 for it.
  • I read this article verbatim some months back, but cannot recall the source. Bottom line, this, if true, is not new news.

    Having said that, I very much like the idea of a all in one box that does the digital convergence thing. ReplayTV is close with a TiVo like device, but low end sells for @ $800. Ouch. Price this thing at $300 and let me connect it to my broadband connection and let me skip all the .NET stuff, and I'll be a happy camper!! Hell, I might even buy an MS OS if it makes me VERY happy! :)
  • ...and my soul is still intact.

    Also, based on M$ previous claims this will surely prove to be so much blubber.
  • Wasn't it Interactive TV Bill talked about back in 1995 just before he discovered the web and began destroying that instead? Bill wants to get back to the dark ages of few-to-many media, because that's where the real money is.
  • I'm not really a gamer, but I got an Xbox over the holidays, and I'm impressed. Given the currently available technology, the HomeStation is an obvious evolutionary step. WebTV, Tivo, XBOX, DVD, streamed content. All in one box, that a 4-year old could configure. If the price to feature set ratio is right it will sell like crazy. The sheeple who make up the majority of the buying public would just go berzerk over this. Especially if they promise that it will also be the "magic box" that people can use to receive HDTV broadcasts on their old TVs, and its release is timed with the release of more HDTV content.
  • I refuse to play the xbox and so should you.
    I held the controller the other day and it made me more adament.
  • Supposedly it will be the home entertainment system that Microsoft has always wanted.

    Isn't it true that Bill has a system in his home where wall sized monitors change as he walks through the house? If someone can find some links to stuff in his house I'd be interested.

    Although I hate M$ - I do love Bill Gates. Here is why.
    * Ugly nerd [reminds me he could have ended up a BSD guy]
    * Techno-speak [Acts like any buzzword is actually real! Even if he made it up!]
    * Criminal [And nothing stopped him yet!]
    * Funny [Remember the commercial when he couldn't get change for the coke machine?]

    I wish he had never invented his "MS-DOS", but he seems to be kinda cool.

    Maybe it was that Pirates of Silicon Valley movie. I love the guy that played Jobs, but that shit about the kid pisses me off more than Bill G raping us everyday.

    **Yes this is offtopic - the discussion is on a three month old rumor**
  • Note that alot of these stories came out over the weekend of Sept 8 - 10 , 2001. (not all are listed here). So it is understandable that folks might not remember that news in light of subsequent events.

    November 2001
    http://www.geek.com/news/geeknews/2001nov/gee200 11 120008951.htm

    October 2001
    http://www.pcformat.co.uk/news/detail.asp?id=308 03

    Sept 2001
    http://slashdot.org/articles/01/09/06/2322259.sh tm l
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20010907/097247 .s html
    http://evem.org.au/clan.nsf/docs/200109080946325 3

    July 2001
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/54/21536.ht ml

    And yes, the spaces in the URLs are not there originally/
    • In fact, the PC Format Story was for their October Magazine. This came out in September, since it is cited in the September Links (Note the Dates).

      http://slashdot.org/articles/01/09/06/232 2259.shtm l - Sept 06 2001

      Therefore, we have a mental block that wiped from memory what would have been important news at the time, if it wasn't due to other events.

      Since MS always wants to keep all of their plans secret, I guess you can call this a case of the "damndest luck".

  • Not only is this the same type of story,,,, it's on the same web page as your old story!

    I just noticed when I finally decided to click on the link. It is the same exact article.

    Where is the person who submitted this? Let's kill them!
  • by syrupMatt ( 248267 ) on Friday January 04, 2002 @05:17PM (#2788204) Homepage Journal
    This is old hat, however, it makes perfect sense with the moves ms has been making lately.

    First they break into the consumer electronics biz with the Xbox, and develop a loyal following. Next, they offer online services with your xbox games (and other entertainment features) via broadband.

    Then, with the shares they just dumped into the AT&T cable deal, they have a hand in cable content delivery, as well as satelite content delivery (cant remeber if its echostar or dtv that they have invested in). Never mind the fact that they have something like 36 billion (with a b) cash in the bank to invest in further content mediums and conduits.

    Once they have all the pieces in place, voila, unleash this hardware on the public, and possibly an upgrade offer for owners of current xbox's. .Net provides the framework for content delivery and tracking, also giving developers a ready platform for producing apps.

    Interesting strategy, and again proving Gates's intelligence in market entrance for his products.
    • It will tie into Microsoft's .NET strategy, delivering video-on-demand

      good article [forbes.com] at Forbes (free registration required) talking about video on demand and the burgeoning digital cable market.

      fake or not, this is the plan that Bill is seeking - a trojan horse in your house that will play games, videos, cable, etc.

    • Ballmer has even stated that this is what they wanted to do. They originally planned to do an all in wonder set top box but no one really wanted to develop games for it. Then Ballmer came back and said something to the effect of "what if we made the best damn video console ever?"

      I don't see how this can be surprising to the /. crowd. Whenever a product comes out there is always work being done on the next one. Operating systems are a perfect example of this.
      • Then Ballmer came back and said something to the effect of "what if we made the best damn video console ever?"

        Isn't it amazing how having billions of dollars in the bank can make the most idiotically obvious statements sound like grand strategy?

        "What if we made the best damn SUV ever??"

        What if we made the best damn lawn mower ever??"

        "What if we made the best damn nose-hair trimmer ever?"

        Well, dumb-fuck, if you had the money to make the best whatever ever, and you had enough cash in the bank to sell your whatever at a loss until the competition is dead, then I guess you'd sell a lot of whatevers. What a fucking genius, you captain of industry - nay, colonel of industry - we are in awe of your vision and insight.

        Here's a little homework for you, Ballmer - assume you didn't have that absolutely staggering amount of cash in the bank (proceeds from exploitation of your illegal monopoly). Assume you actually had to get financing for your earth-shattering brainstorm. Assume you had to convince financiers to back your losses for years until you crushed the competition with what is essentially dumping on the market. Would you get the loan with that business strategy?

        Right now, I could really use the best damn margarita ever!

  • by decipher_saint ( 72686 ) on Friday January 04, 2002 @05:21PM (#2788222) Homepage
    Just what I need, Microsoft connected to my TV...

    Whats next?

    -Microsoft Regeneration Chamber
    -Microsoft NanoProbes(TM)
    -MS HiveConnect '05
    -MS UpgradeLimbs (USB w/ Serial adapter)
  • I've seen Halo and Gotham racing...both looked sweet but that isn't nearly enough to make me want to buy one. The only thing I get from that is the feeling that M$ missed the boat when limiting Halo to Xbox. I am a dedicated gamer on a PC platform. I've got all the goodies, racing wheel, flight yoke and pedals, 64 mb GF3 card, and a really nice 24" monitor. I just can't see limiting myself to any console...
    • Halo is coming for PC. It's just on the XBox first. I enjoy a good PC game as well, but the XBox has excellent widescreen and Dolby Digital support which makes sitting on the couch in front of the 64" HDTV fun as well.
    • I do. [fanboy]I bought it even AFTER playing with a PS2 for a weekend[/fanboy]

      No one here is asking the big question:
      What does this 'Homestation' have that the Xbox doesn't?

      Storage? Just have'em include some kind of SMB support and the Xbox has EVERYTHING a homestation would need.

      (At this point is occurs to me that M$ wants the PC to be the home server...hmm, lots of storage there.)

      You've seen the Homestation already. It's the leftmost game console over at Target, next to the PS2 and the Gameboy. All it needs is the _software_.
  • not only computers and laptops... but also television sets, parking meters, telephones, cars, bird cages, cheese graters, battleships and pants.

    Pants?

    That's right, digital pants, or as we like to call them.. smarty pants..

    "Behind the Scenes at Microsoft" by
    Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie [mp3.com]
  • Yeah, I know, I'm one of those people who puts their hand in front of the camera at the ATM...

    I see this as just another way that microsoft is going to pull off the ultimate fast one...

    Once they get their .net stuff up and running, with the next release of windows, it'll be compulsary that you have a .net subscription, which by the way states that you have to accept updates from microsoft (much in the way that Diablo2 updates itself, it just happens) and it'll automatically deduct your subscription cost monthly (and the fee for downloading the patch...) from your microsoft passport account...

    Once they get this infrastructure in place, they'll roll out their Digital Copyright Management System (DCMS). digitally unsigned MP3's will be unplayable because their point of origin will be unknown. Since they only support ripping of WMA files anyway, you'd only be able to play WMA files that were created on your machine (your computers unique GUID would be watermarked into the rip during the encoding.) The converting of WMA files back into cdda format and ripping them onto CD's would be completely disallowed. Since DCMS is implemented at the OS level (down near all the filesytem calls) trying to even use winamp wouldn't work since winamp wouldn't even be able to open the file. Not that you'd possibly be allowed to install winamp, since it's not a digitally signed application from Microsoft, you'd have to pay extra to allow the installing of non microsoft sanctioned programs. If you think that this idea is far fetched, Go and download a driver that hasn't been "certified" by microsoft... Now imagine this taken to the next level, where instead of giving you a choice it would just exit out of the install or worse, you'd get fined for trying to install non-ms software.

    Now that the whole world is connected to .net, microsoft can start selling all kinds of totally anonymous usage information based off of data collected from everybody.

    So, how does microsoft get everybody off their backs really quickly? (those people being the DOJ) Use their monopoly to benefit the DOJ. Before they went that road, once they rolled out DRMS, the RIAA and the MPAA would get right into their corner (forget about divx every working again...) Where I get this idea from is looking at the EULA for Windows Media Player... at the end is a clause that says that microsoft has the right to download onto the users pc updates without their knowledge, these updates may disable software that doesn't comply with Digital Rights Management. (I'm paraphrasing) Then microsoft would cut a deal with the DOJ where'd they be able todo searches of all the data collected from everybody's machine connected to .net. Since your inclusively connected, you could be extensively profiled (for good or bad).

    Yeah, I know it was rambling, but its juat what I think is going to happen.
  • Actually... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Baalam ( 163817 )
    It's not really so super-secret. I saw a prototype of the HomeStation that was on display at the Microsoft TV booth at NATPE (National Association of Television Porduction Executives) in Vegas last year. It was running on a watered down version of the then Windows Whistler (XP) code. It had interactive TV capabilities as well as Tivo functionality. Looked very nice then, but was not fully functional, but the prospects looked very nice.
  • I would guess that someone would end up hacking the XBox to run arbitrary unsigned code before this is out anyways. Webserver anyone?

    Check out <a href="http://www.xboxhacker.net">XBoxHacker< /a> for more info...
  • With the new Microsoft Homestation, you will be able to fully enjoy all your Hotmail Spam on your TV! Thanks to the .NET technology, you won't need to sign up for anything! It's all in a box. Targeted ad's, in house Nielsen ratings for all households(US only). But the fun does not stop here, thanks to .NET, all your base are belong to us... eerrhh uhm, scratch the last part.

    DON'T DELAY! GET 0WN3D^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h START ENJOYING THE FUTURE TODAY WITH YOUR OWN HOMESTATION!

    Microsoft. Building a better world!
    For more info see http://www.microsoft.com/homestation.asp [microsoft.com].
    (accepting all credit cards)
  • I dislike the MS monopoly as much as the next person who dislikes the MS monopoly, but XBox/Homestation stuffs really don't bother me.

    And here's why...

    Consoles are by their very nature closed-platform proprietary devices. Console manufacturers/companies have always kept tight (and at some times rigid) control of what can be made for a console and what can be done with a console. Everyone does it. And MS has dones this for years with the PC market place; they're very very good at it.

    However, the major difference is that while you *should* be able do whatever you want with a PC, you don't buy a console system expecting the same type of flexibility. So right there MS is moving into a niche market that finally fits what they want to do with their life.

    Additionally, since consoles are designed to be brain-dead five-year-old useable devices, they have to be stable and crash free (for all you "XBox crashes" ignorant weenies out there, mine has never once crashed...and I've sat there playing it for eight hours straight and then slapped a DVD or music CD in it) I've seen my PC crash and seen the PS2 crash, but never the XBox. Right here this helps MS with one of their biggest problems: they now have a business out there that is dependent on the system NOT crashing.

    And then on top of all this, since MS is always emphasizing that the XBox is a console and not a PC, they're likely not to attempt to "bundle" software into the XBox to put others out of business...and on top of that it doesn't matter anyway since the XBox is closed and proprietary.

    The final point of all this is that XBox dev being so similar to (MS)PC dev, we will likely see better games coming out for the PC in the future; companies can save initial compatability lab costs by developing for a known set of parameters...and then if the game is good enough they can move it to PC and worry about the compatability issues at that time.

    And my final hope is that with a proprietary, closed platform that they can push at the consumer without fear of monopoly prosecution, they'll ease up on pushing crap at the PC/server side of the business, finally realizing that they cannot win using their business practices on that front.

  • Will it use UPnP and allow all of your devices in your house to be hacked so that your PocketPC wont work and your refridgerator will throw ice cubes at random? I bet it runs their new SecureOS and emits a extremely high frequency that blows up any device playing music that doesnt have a license for it.
  • Here [theregister.co.uk] is the register's take on this PC Format story.

  • Think about it. Play Satation, Play Station 2, Home Station or Station. It's the next logical tech and marketing step.

    Did you know that a few years ago, the playstation was the third most purchased entertainment appliance, right after TV/VCR? It was above stereo. For guys AND GIRLS in the 18-30+ group.

    With all of the peripherals able to be readily added to the PS2, they will try a few out, then they will launch the "Home Station or Station: and with the SONY Name, (and similarity to the old name) it will generate more trust and make more sense in the living room or den then anything MS will put out - ever. (Unless they merge. Which will one day happen. I swear.)
  • Will it be backwards compatible with all existing MS code? And what about compatibility with Nimda, Sircam and other code in that genre?
  • Well, the article's been Slashdotted, but this isn't particularly new news, so there's probably not any need.

    There was an article in Wired awhile back about the contractor Microsoft was using to actually build the Xbox units. It had almost nothing to do with the console itself and more about the phenomenon of third-party electronics manufacturers, but if memory serves everything I'm about to spew forth is from there. (I think the Register has gone over it a bit, too.)

    Of course Microsoft wants to take over your living room. How much money out there is spent on, say, DVD players, stereo components, video game consoles, and all the rest combined every day? It's a gold mine.

    And I'm sure MS was thinking of this when they came up with the cute little name, too: Xbox? As in the variable X? Not just a cool-sounding letter?

    COME ON, PEOPLE! It's a CONSPIRACY!

    Moving on. It's kind of a shame for the game players, though. I admire Nintendo's philosophy when it comes to designing new systems: it's designed for games, not for running your home entertainment system. The more broad you get in your objectives, the less you're going to be able to specialize. You've gotta give and take when you're designing, and when you need to get both DVD functionality and game playing in one box, you're not going to be able to really push the hell out of the design of one aspect-- passable functionality is probably good enough. Note the apparently inferior quality of the PS2's DVD playback. This is the reason the GameCube doesn't house a DVD player (as well as the added benefit of the difficulty in duplicating a proprietary disc, but see the talk on Panasonic's "Q" from earlier today for that): Nintendo knows its place.

    If Microsoft manages to get everything I want in a system for a reasonable price, I'll probably buy it-- I won't discriminate just because it's MS. I doubt they'll ever be able to capture all of the quality in one box that you'd find in seperate components, and so my five hundred FutureBucks are probably secure for now.
  • Its no secret that Microsoft wants to own the whole TV/media/PC/convergence space. Everyone wants to own it...AOL, Sun, Microsoft...

    However, its very unlikely this would be considered a "sequel" to the XBOX. Microsoft has gone out of their way to make sure XBOX is seen as a console and only a console. It would have been very easy for them to include a small GUI with IE, etc built right in to make XBOX a home web station, but they passed on that just to reinforce the idea that the XBOX is a game console, period. While I'm sure they will release something like this 'HomeStation', it'll either use the WebTV brand or be something new, and they'll try to keep it as completely distinct from the XBOX as they possibly can...They learned the lessons of 3do, Apple, etc and don't want to repeat that.

  • I posted a comment [slashdot.org] related to this the other day on the X-Box story. Whether this rumor is true now or not, it is reasonably to believe it will be soon. Microsoft, whatever else you may say about them, has one thing they do better than all their competitors...Strategy. This makes a lot of strategic sense.
  • Don't know if this is true or not, but it seems like only a matter of when.

    So do you think it will take Microsoft ultimately leveraging their monopoly to cannibalize the entire PC (or home PC anyway) industry to finally teach their hardcore supporters at Dell, Compaq, HP, etc. who they're working with?

    There's not much these guys can do to prevent it at this point, but backing such monopoly-extenders as, say, the PocketPC can only help to make this kind of coup more likely.
  • The glimmer of hope (Score:3, Interesting)

    by evilpenguin ( 18720 ) on Friday January 04, 2002 @06:48PM (#2788737)
    This gives me my first glimmer of hope since the Bush the Younger administration emasculated the anti-trust suit against Microsoft.

    Microsoft is now moving into and p---ing off entire new markets. Either they will compete legitimately one-on-one with the game console makers, and with the consumer electronics companies, in which case they will find themsevles back under proper market control (the ideal Laisser Faire solution), or they will leverage their monopoly into new monopolies and no administration will be able to ignore their blatant abuse of the law.

    In other words, the thinner they spread themselves, the greater the chance they will lose their dominance.

  • They'll start making xbox games? ;)

    Seriously, this is a hoax as others have said -- but look out for future promises from console makers. Remember your history lessons of years past.

    I wonder if xbox will ever get up to 100 games before 2004.
  • by Infonaut ( 96956 ) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Friday January 04, 2002 @08:48PM (#2789124) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft has a long history of leaking or announcing technology long before it actually is developed. As the 800-lb. gorilla, this tactic works quite well, because it makes the competition less likely to embark on technologies that might compete directly with the "upcoming" Microsoft product.

    I'm not saying that Microsoft deliberately leaked information about HomeStation, or that they're not well on their way to making it a reality, but early announcement is a clever way of placing barriers to entry in front of their competitors. If you're trying to line up partners for deployment of your new all-in-one home gizmo, who's going to work with you if they know Microsoft is coming out with their own gizmo "any time now"?

  • It's going to be called "My Videogame Box."

    (not my joke)
  • What's this I hear about Xbox SQL? I didn't even know MySQL had been ported yet. That was quick. Can't wait until DB2 comes out for the Gamecube.


  • "Supposedly it will be the home entertainment system that Microsoft has always wanted. It will tie into Microsoft's .NET strategy, delivering video-on-demand, high speed internet connection, and communicate wirelessly with portable devices. It might even be able to play Xbox games, along with PC games."

    Funny, I heard the codename for this project was "Personal Computer"

    Reminds me of another story. Mead Corp is developing a flexible input, storage and display medium capable of infinite resolution, consumes no power, and can be produced so cheaply that literally millions these objects can be produced for a few cents a pound! Theyre calling it, "paper".

The only difference between a car salesman and a computer salesman is that the car salesman knows he's lying.

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