Is Microsoft’s Xbox about to become the next must have gadget, on the order of the iPod in 2001?
That was the chatter on the trading floor after Microsoft rolled out new software that some say could transform the company’s popular video game console into “the future of TV.”
Among the new features, is a voice-control interface that allows audience to access videos, TV or games simply by asking.
Also, the ‘new’ Microsoft Xbox includes social features, from voting on who you think will win the big game to tools letting you notify friends when you're tackling a multiplayer game they can join.
In addition, Xbox owners with the Kinect motion controller can swipe through screens simply by waving their hand in the air.
"Microsoft has just built and delivered it: A single box that ties together all the content you want, made easily accessible through a universal, natural, voice-directed search," writes James McQuivey of Forrester Research. "This is now the benchmark against which all other living room initiatives should be compared."
Is Microsoft’s xBox becoming the equivalent of Apple’s iPod – that is a game changer that drives shares?
The Fast Money traders don’t think so.
Part of their skepticism involves a similar prediction made by Bill Gates over 12 years. At that time Gates said Microsoft would dominate the living room. “Yet, the stock is in the same exact spot as it was then,” explains trader Dan Nathan. “With Microsoft I don’t think investor put a lot of credence into gadgets changing the game for Microsoft.”
The other traders agree. ”Microsoft is slow money,” grumbles Joe Terranova. “You can own it but you’re not going to get rich,” adds Guy Adami.
And even if developments put Microsoft ahead of the curve,– specifically in front of Apple’s TV, they still think Apple wins.
”Apple TV is coming,” says Joe Terranova, “and the company has a long track record of delivering this type of product. “Apple TV could elevate revenues,” he says. Microsoft, probably not.
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Trader disclosure: On Dec 5, 2011, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders; Seymour is long AAPL; Seymour is long MCD; Seymour is long RIG; Adami owns C; Adami owns GS; Adami owns INTC; Adami owns MSFT; Terranova is long EMC; Terranova is long SU; Terranova is long NCR; Terranova is long UPC; Terranova is long TRLG; Terranova is long VRTS; Terranova is long LQD; Terranova is long MUB; Terranova is long AXP; Terranova is long IBM; Terranova is long HES; Terranova is long CAT; Terranova is long SWN; Terranova is long CNI; Terranova is long DECK; Terranova is long SBUX; Nathan has Dec put fly AAPL; Nathan has Jan put spreads MS; Nathan has Jan call fly NFLX; Nathan has Jan put spreads INTC; Weiss is long QCOM; Weiss is long MOS; Weiss is long EUO; Weiss is long DE; Weiss is long CNX; Weiss is long COP; Weiss is long CSC; Weiss is long VZ; Weiss is long KO; Weiss is long MDRX; Weiss is long SHAW; Nations is long SPY; Nations has long call spreads AMZN; Nations is long MSFT; Gartman is short EUR; Gartman is long X; Gartman is short AMZN; Dicker is long RI
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