What Microsoft does not want you to know about Netflix streaming

Posted by Samantha Rose

Opinion – Earlier this week, Microsoft and Netflix announced that movie streaming will be coming to the Xbox 360. This could be a big deal. But if you are really interested in watching Netflix content on your Xbox, you don’t have to wait and you don’t have to pay twice. If you have an Xbox 360 and a Windows Vista PC, you have everything you need to stream Netflix movies already.

When the Netflix announcement was made, I was sitting in a coffee shop with a friend and learned of the announcement via my cellphone RSS feed. I couldn’t help laughing: Are they serious? I personally have been streaming Netflix movies for a while now, and I pay nothing for it, except for my Netflix subscription.

Utilizing freeware, and Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate you can be streaming Netflix in less than 20 minutes with no fees.  This was announced over a month ago by Adam Pash of Lifehacker.com, and some of us have even been able to stream video using a modified original Xbox.

Yes, I know, Netflix is another tool for Microsoft to pitch their fee-based Xbox Live Gold subscription to you. But it is somewhat ridiculous on Microsoft’s part to act as though they have stumbled upon some miracle.  Why would someone want to pay for a service that has been readily available for use? It’s a prime example of a corporation merely taking advantage of the public with an attempt to charge for something that should be available to customers for free.

Update July 18, 9:23 AM EDT:

I've had time to read through all of your comments, and I genuinely enjoyed each and every one of them. I'd like to point out a few things.

I think the overall point of my article was missed. My point was simply, there are other options. I personally don't participate in live gaming on my system, its just not for me, so therefore I don't have Xbox Live silver, or gold. I also have been lucky to stream Netflix, and Hulu videos from my Original Xbox for some time now. I think it is important for individuals to realize that they do have other options. I'm not in the minority when I say that I don't utilize live services, so for those individuals who are like me, knowing about these little tricks is cool.

Am I saying that you're stupid if you pay for it? Absolutely not, so why should I be called stupid, ignorant, etc. for simply pointing out that as a consumer you have other options that Roku with its additional piece of equipment, and purchasing a live membership?

In fact, I would also like to bring to your attention that you also have OTHER options if you are running a Mac (which by the way I do)...or you don't have Windows Vista.
 
Its about options people, and having the right to choose what you use, and how you stream your video and utilize your game system.