Microsoft brings IPTV to Xbox 360, Apple fans’ wait is nearly over

Annual tech trade show CES is underway, and Microsoft’s keynote announced a few new goodies: a new Ultimate Extra for Vista that delivers full-motion desktop backgrounds, interoperability between Xbox Live and Vista, and more interestingly a TV service for the Xbox 360. US launch this summer but other than that there’s sod-all information. Price? International availability? Partners? Your guess is as good as mine.

Meanwhile Apple-watchers are wetting themselves with excitement over the content of Steve Jobs’ keynote tomorrow. Expect more on iTV, lots on Leopard and maybe even the iPod phone. I sincerely hope Jobs *does* announce an iPod phone tomorrow, because the sheer volume of ineptly photoshopped fakes floating around online is beginning to do my head in.


More on Xbox telly via

IPTV, meanwhile, set to launch at Christmas, will allow you to watch TV on Xbox 360 while chatting to friends, and to play on Xbox Live while recording a TV programme in the background, among other things. Microsoft promises “instant channel zapping, a rich and responsive user interface, video on demand with branded video-on-demand storefronts, digital video recording and high-definition television”.

Its press literature says that commercial and trial deployments are under way with 16 companies, “including five of the world’s largest service providers in 14 countries on four continents”. Those “scale commercial deployments” include ones with BT Group in the UK, Deutsche Telekom in Germany, T-Online in France and Swisscom in Switzerland. AT&T is working with Microsoft in the US.