Today at E3, Microsoft revealed plans to bring live streaming television to its Xbox Live entertainment platform this fall. Microsoft said it was partnering with companies in the U.S. and abroad to provide a variety of television content, but the company didn't announce any partners at the event.
The live TV play is just one part of Microsoft's push to make Xbox Live a central entertainment hub in the home. As part of this push, Microsoft also said it would be bringing YouTube to the console. Together with existing content channels like Netflix and Hulu Plus, the Xbox system is fast becoming a formidable media center.
Microsoft also announced plans to integrate its Bing search engine into Xbox Live, and to add voice controls using its popular Kinect peripheral.
While the company has yet to announce details for its Live TV services, it seems likely that the American content partnerships would follow the model Microsoft has already established in Europe. For the past few years, Microsoft has been partnering with content providers like Sky TV in the U.K. to bring dedicated live content channels to the Xbox. We don't know who Microsoft is in talks to partner with here in the U.S. but Microsoft has said it's looking to increase its partnerships by a factor of ten in the coming year.