Will cable lose to Microsoft? Once a partner to the cable industry with investments with cable operators and networks, Microsoft has lost its lead and its focus. Where they continue to excel is gaming and their product, XBox, may just be the driver back into the household. "The software powerhouse has held talks with TV networks to create a new subscription-based TV service on its Xbox gaming console that would rival efforts by Google Inc, Apple Inc and Netflix Inc, sources told Reuters." As Xbox 360 continues to gain momentum, online access opens much potential. In an era of cord cutting, users of XBox could easily connect with web based content and cut the cord to cable.
A lower level of service could be built at a much lower price point, and more suitable for today's household. "One scenario under consideration by Microsoft is to create a new TV service on its Xbox gaming console that would establish a "virtual cable operator." The service would charge a monthly fee for access through the Xbox to networks such as ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS, ESPN or CNN, according to two sources familiar with the plans." More ala carte, cheaper bundles, more consumer friendly. A boon for the consumer, a bust for cable companies.