Update: After some email exchanges between the two of us Seth slightly clarified his article by adding 'The video is' to the paragraph I excerpt below (change is shown in italics). He still does a fairly poor job of telling the overall story here -- but I'm still working on him.
I'm a big fan of The Motley Fool, so it pains me to some extent to write this, but someone has to, so guess it will be me.
In Apple's Latest Victims, Seth writes the following, speaking of the media playback capabilities of the XBox 360...
"It's capable of streaming media directly from a PC, with one big hitch. The video is only supposed to work with the Media Center OS. This was a ridiculous mistake, in my opinion, because so few Media Center OSes exist out there. It not only should have supported streaming from plain vanilla Windows XP, it should have run more file types."
Wrong. In two places.
First, the XBox 360 works out of the box with any version of Windows XP to Play music and manage playlists and view pictures. In addition, it supports playback of content from portable media player devices (compatible device list here) *including* the Apple iPod (but not FairPlay tracks -- talk to Apple about that ). Seth has a good point about compatibility with more file types, but support for [insert codec here] is largely a matter of return on investment. We also stream more media types with the Media Center Extender features of XBox 360 when you have a Windows Media Center enabled SKU of Windows. In addition to audio and pictures, we have video (WMV, MPEG1, MPEG2) and Recorded TV. Plus all of the media available from partners in Online Spotlight (MTV, NPR, Akimbo to name a few).
Second, there are more than a few Media Center PCs out there: 16 million according to the last group of public numbers. In addition, greater than 50% of the personal computers being sold today come with Windows Media Center. With Windows Vista, we expect the percentage to increase with Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Ultimate (the two SKUs with Windows Media Center included).
So, Seth, you could actually forego the iTV even before it ships with a trip to your local retailer. Tonight.
P.S. Isn't it odd Seth owns Microsoft stock and The Motley Fool has it listed as an Inside Value recommendation, but managed to publish this article without basic fact checking? See the links above to the public XBox.com site above which clearly enumerate these features.
P.S. Even more interesting to me is they offer RSS feeds for stories, but no way for me to leave comments about them. That might be because they are offering financial advice, perhaps...?