Microsoft to unveil Windows TV at CES?

Microsoft could use this week’s Consumer Electronics Show to introduce a connected-television offering that would compete with Google TV and Apple TV.

“Microsoft’s going to make a splash in this market with a stripped-down version of Windows tailored for set-top boxes and connected TVs,” Brier Dudley, a columnist with The Seattle Times, predicted. “The software is a version of its embedded device software, overlaid with the Windows Media Centre interface, with media streaming and remote-control capabilities.”

Microsoft could benefit from introducing products after others have entered the marketplace. In December, Apple reported it had sold 1 million Apple TV units in the device’s first two-and-a-half months of release, demonstrating the viability of a box that allows users to watch content ported from the cloud. Google’s decision to postpone the roll-out of Google TV sets and companion boxes, originally set for CES, could create a suitable vacuum for Microsoft to push Windows TV.

Dudley referred to Microsoft’s $200 device as “a stripped-down version of Windows tailored for set-top boxes and connected TVs,” running Windows Media Centre.