Friday, January 07, 2005

BusinessWeek online: Gates Still Aims for TV Stardom

BusinessWeek online: Gates Still Aims for TV Stardom: "Yet for all its effort build a business in the living room, Microsoft hasn't made a dime there yet. The Xbox gaming console has been a financial sinkhole, with Redmond pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into developing the business. It also has registered no significant business from its set-top box efforts, despite more than a decade of trying.
TOUGH COMPANY. 'We've been investing in software for the TV probably for longer than we should have,' Gates said, acknowledging the shortfalls and added: 'It has been almost 12 years that we've been building on this.' So for all the flash of Gates's presentation, Microsoft appears unlikely to see financially meaningful business anytime soon.
What's more, Microsoft competes with tough rivals such as Sony (SNE ) and Apple (AAPL ) -- the former a longtime consumer powerhouse and the latter a pioneer in merging consumer electronics with traditional tech. 'It's just not clear if Microsoft's vision is the vision that will prevail,' says Goldman Sachs analyst Rick Sherlund.
Nonetheless, after a dozen years in the TV business, Microsoft and Gates are clearly not about to back away now. "
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