Microsoft VP Craig Mundie announced at Windows World Toyko today that PCTVs running Windows will replace television sets within a few years. And when that happens, Microsoft will be ready.
Mundie said that all PCs will be television-enabled by the year 2000 and that broadcast access would be a standard part of Memphis and Windows NT 5.0.
"TVs have no choice but to move somewhat closer to PCs, while PCs have to move more toward simplicity," he said. PCs, he said, are superior to normal television sets because they offer better picture quality and more "active programming" with Web-enhanced television programming.
Because PCTVs will be able to receive any type of broadcast data: cable, satellite, whatever, it "eliminates what I call the 'five remote control terminals problem'," Mundie said.
Mundie cited research showing that television viewing has decreased 15% in the last year while leisure time at the computer has increased. Mundie expects PCTV shipments to exceed 100 million units by the year 2000