From Web TV – Full Circle

My mother wasn’t an early adopter of computer technology. I tried to talk her into letting me buy her a home computer for a couple of years, just so we could send email and photos back and forth. She was hesitant, claiming she didn’t know how to use one and it would probably either sit there unused, or she’d break it.

But she was office manager for a cable TV company in northern California, and when they started offering WebTV, they had one installed in the front office, as a demo. Slowly, but surely, she began to realize how much information was available online, even then.

From Web TV to Xbox One

Finally, in the spring of ’96, I talked her into putting WebTV in her home. It didn’t take long for her to become an enthusiastic proponent. The wireless keyboard alone sold her.

Today, Microsoft unveiled the new Xbox One. This is Web TV on steroids, but with SO much more! Even without the ability to control the system by hand motions or voice (not to mention voice recognition for individual profiles), it just simply kicks ass on anything else out there.

Microsoft, of course, is well known for being too quick to launch and too slow to debug. A long string of new Windows versions stand as testament to that. They’re also slow to admit defeat and pull a product that should never have been launched to begin with. There are a couple of Windows versions that fall in that category, too.

Today, I think they’ve made up for a lot those false starts. If Xbox One performs in the wild the way it did in today’s demo, Microsoft has overtaken the field.

I think the new Xbox One will fundamentally change home entertainment. Even if you’re like me – not a gamer – this new product is sure to impress. You just tell it “Xbox On” and the eight-core processor kicks in, and you’re in business. 8 GB of RAM and a 500 GB hard drive, plus a Blu-ray player and of course, Kinect, make it a powerful, ultra-fast system. Voice control adds a certain sexy plus, too.

Oh, and by the way, you can do group video calls through the Xbox One with Skype, too. Family reunions without ever leaving your living room!

So check it out. When it releases, it’s sure to be a hot selling item. If you decide to take the plunge, you might want to pre-order.