Intel and Yahoo announced a partnership (also with Comcast) that they will be providing the embedded technology for set top boxes to provide widget for a TV environment. I’m here at IDF and had a chance to talk to a few Intel super geeks and basically it’s all vapor at the moment. It’s mainly a developer oriented showcase so it’s not meant to be a shipping product. The demo they are showing is very sexy but it’s vapor – at least for now.
The demo really shows the benefit of the user experience. The notion of having prefabricated widgets coming from Yahoo will make for a compelling experience. What’s more interesting is the idea that users or families will be able to create their own widgets. I can see this really working well for parents putting together microcontent widgets for their kids – a kinda set top box playlist concept.
So as of today it’s concept and this offering should attract developers with the open architecture. The Intel guy said that developers can integrate any clients side innovation directly into the stack. This makes sense for emerging areas that need innovation – like video acceleration and other problem areas like managing the storage issues. Today big video content providers have to to store multiple file formats like Flash, Windows, and Silverlight. This is a big problem and generates a ton of costs. At least the CDNs can make more money.
I love this concept with the Intel set top box and think that this is where Yahoo needs to be successful. By pushing out content from their system to the edge the users are happy. Yahoo goes to where the users are instead of today where Yahoo makes the users come to them.
The question in my mind is what is the video user experience like when there are so many problems in delivering video over the Internet (speed, cost, concurrency).