US analyst house Forrester Research has issued the surprise edict that Microsoft is winning one of the most important battles in the digital world – the one raging around the TV.
James McQuivey, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, asserts in a blog post (here) that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 games console is already an extremely popular TV platform, having become the most-watched Internet-connected TV device in the US, and predicts that it will become so in the world soon.
With more than 70mn Xbox 360s in households worldwide – and as many as half of them connected to the Internet, depending on the country, Microsoft can rapidly drive new video services in to tens of millions of households, according to Mr. McQuivey.
In fact, it has already begun to do through the partnerships it signed towards the end of last year with nearly 40 major content and operator partners around the world, including major broadcasters such as Bravo, HBO, the BBC, ZDF and Mediaset, and pay-TV operators such as Verizon, Comcast and Telefónica.
“This week we released our newest report, The Fight To Control The TV Becomes A Platform War, describing the 32 million consumer households in the US that watch online video on a TV set,” relates the Forrester analyst. “That number is up sharply from 25 million the year before, and of them, 18.4 million are getting the job done with a game console, the majority of them using the Xbox 360. Nothing else comes close, not Internet-connected TVs – which are selling well but connecting poorly – nor over-the-top video boxes like Roku or the Apple TV.