Microsoft is expected to unveil a Google TV competitor at CES alongside a new Avatar Kinect function for Xbox 360.
The Seattle Times reports that Microsoft is planning to make a splash at CES with an announcement of new hardware running a stripped down Windows version that uses the familiar Media Center UI for televisions. The boxes will go on sale in late 2011 and will cost around $200:
“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. The software is a version of its embedded device software, overlaid with the Windows Media Center interface, with media streaming and remote-control capabilities.”
The software is not new however. Microsoft has demonstrated this functionality in Windows Embedded Standard 7 earlier in 2010:
Glimpse Dog has also leaked slides that it claims will feature in Microsoft’s CES presentation on Wednesday. The slides reference “Avatar Kinect” which Microsoft is set to introduce at CES. The software update, delivered over Xbox LIVE, will allow Kinect owners to interact with each other using their avatars. The avatars will have a separate area, much like Nintendo’s Mii channel, that will allow for users to control them using Kinect and interact to watch content or play games.