Microsoft reportedly developing set-top box

Microsoft is in the process of developing a set-top box, according to sources who spoke with The Wall Street Journal. The device is said to be "simple" and made to stream video and similar other functions, perhaps similar to the Roku set-top box. While there are said to be prototypes already in creation, there's no info on whether the set-top box will ever hit shelves.

The set-top box is said to have been designed several times by now, and the latest ones that made it into prototype mode reportedly have support for Kinect, enabling voice and motion control of the system. The device would, in addition, work in conjunction with Microsoft's other devices and offerings, such as the Xbox and mobile Windows devices.

The sources went on to say that work is being done on the development side to make it simple for developers to create content for the device, including having instructed its development teams to create programs with Microsoft-created coding standards. The goal, says the sources, is for developers to have a simple way to write software for use across the company's many devices.

Such a rumor comes at a time when Microsoft is readying the launch of the next-generation Xbox, the same thing Sony is doing, with the PlayStation 4 slated to go on sale in time for the holidays. As we've previously noted, however, the consoles present a bit of uncertainty, with some feeling that they might not live up to expectations. Microsoft declined commenting on the rumor.

[via Wall Street Journal]