Entertainment, Information Technology


Don’t look now, but Xbox might be the Apple killer

Don’t look now, but Xbox might be the Apple killer

I’ve got to think the decision to coin the latest Xbox iteration “SmartGlass,” unveiled at the E3 conference in Los Angeles Monday, serves as a subtle shot at Google. Of course, one of these days Google will release “Google Glass,” a futuristic set of specs you can use to activate your every whim.

As I explained earlier this week on TheStreet, thanks to Xbox’s popularity, Microsoft already dominates Google and Apple in the living room. And, by leaps and bounds, it owns the desktop/laptop OS market.

Consider the brilliant position Microsoft is in point-by-point:

  • It used gaming as the gateway to make Xbox the leading full-service streaming device.
  • Comparitively, both Google TV and Apple TV have been miserable failures.
  • Steve Jobs figured out the living room, but a mere mortal, Tim Cook, needs to realize the dream.
  • Cook better hurry or iTV will be a niche and Xbox SmartGlass will dominate just as the present Xbox does in the living room and Windows does on computers.

As an illustration of Apple’s challenge, consider why the corporate world shifted faster than a speeding bullet from Research in Motion’s Blackberry to Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

Of course, employees provided the catalyst. The days of seeing a person in a suit fumble with a Blackberry in one hand and an iPhone in the other are long gone. Employees voted as consumers and, in the name of convenience, IT departments had no choice but to dump RIM for Apple.

Apple’s dominance in the consumer space inevitably penetrated an area RIMM bulls considered protected – enterprise. Better design. Better hardware. Better software. Better user experience. Better overall products. Steve Jobs anoints apps the future. Jim Balsillie pushes back to the contrary. Jobs wins. You win. Balsillie loses. RIM loses. Don’t blame Canada.

It’s all pretty straightforward.

Expect to see a similar dynamic play out as Microsoft forges ahead admirably with Xbox SmartGlass and Windows 8.

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