Writing at Wired on Microsoft's extension of the XBox brand, Tim Carmody has a smart take on how Apple can succeed in the TV space:
The iPad was a success because it stood on the shoulders of the iPhone, the iPod Touch, the rejuvenated Mac lineup and the iOS App Store. At this point, Microsoft is trying to go in the other direction, borrowing elements from Xbox to drive interest in Windows Phone and Windows 8. In order to succeed, an Apple television set will have to employ the same kind of leverage. Only part of this can be the networked interaction between Mac and iOS devices or even apps common to all of them.We’ve written before about the role Apple’s iPods still play as a gateway deviceto the iPhone, iPad and Mac. It’s been easier for Microsoft to drive content agreements for Xbox because it can point to its fifty million units. Apple needs to do something similar for TV. iPads are part of that, but so is that little Apple TV box. If Apple introduced a new television set, don’t be surprised if they also overhaul that little box, but with much greater capabilities. It’s the iPod; it’s the Mac Mini; it’s their best chance to quickly turn an ecosystem of millions into tens or hundreds of millions.