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Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)’s New Toy Is a Preemptive Attack on Apple Inc. (AAPL)

A lot has been said about Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)‘s Xbox One since it was introduced on Tuesday. However, here’s something that you probably haven’t heard: Xbox One is a preemptive strike on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

Think about it. Apple is working on a smart television. Shortly before his death, Steve Jobs told his biographer that he had cracked the problem with smart TVs. CEO Tim Cook told NBC’s Brian Williams — on primetime television — that it’s an area of “intense interest” at Apple.

Let’s dream out loud. What would an Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) smart TV do?

Well, thanks to the popularity of Siri, it’s a safe bet that there would be some degree of voice recognition. Xbox One has that. “Watch TV” switches to live TV. “Watch AMC” switches the channel. “What’s on HBO?” pulls up the channel’s listings guide.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s device would also probably incorporate FaceTime video chat. Yes, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s all over that. The Xbox One allows for Skype video chats — with multiple users at the same time.

Microsoft CorporationNaturally, there would be some App Store integration with live content, but Xbox One is there already. You can pull up personalized fantasy stats during NBA and NFL games. You can be playing a Blu-ray disc and switch to a split screen to pull up Internet Explorer to figure out where you know that actress from through IMDB or pull up movie ratings on Rotten Tomatoes.

App Store integration naturally means playing games on your TV, and Xbox One naturally will have Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) beat on that front.

The clincher here is that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) already has tens of millions of active Xbox Live users. They all won’t hop on the Xbox One platform right away, but they will over time as prices get cheaper.

However, as expensive as the Xbox One will be, a full blown Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) HDTV will probably cost more than a Microsoft console with an existing flat screen. Now that we know that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will have its new toy out in time for this year’s holiday shopping season, it’s not as if Apple can get a head start here.