Xbox TV launching this 'Christmas'

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer demoed Xbox TV functionality, confirming plans to launch the service this Christmas. Details on pricing and content partners were scant, but Ballmer promised that Microsoft is working with "dozens or hundreds of additional video content suppliers."

According to Ballmer, Xbox TV will work in much the same way that the Sky TV media service works for Xbox 360 in the United Kingdom, Canal Plus in France, and FoxTel in Australia. It will give folks access to "news, sport and your favorite channels."

He also touched on Xbox TV's integration of Microsoft's search engine, Bing, and Kinect's voice-recognition technology. "Certainly we all know the frustrations of using guides and menus and controllers, and we think a better way to do all of this is simply to bring Bing and voice to Xbox. You say it, Xbox finds it," Ballmer pitched.

According to CNN (via Eurogamer), a demo was shown in which a Microsoft employee issued the voice command, "Xbox, Bing, The Office," at which point the television displayed the available seasons of the hit TV show, The Office.

An attempt to demo a further search within the displayed show seasons didn't work, however, prompting Ballmer to joke: "It's a good thing that's shipping for Christmas."