, an article at the Seattle Times offers an interesting theory on what might be an important part of Bill Gates' keynote at CES next week. According to Times writer Brier Dudley, upgrades and licensing for the Xbox 360
could be a big new feather in Microsoft's cap: "I've speculated on my blog that Microsoft may be preparing to license the Xbox gaming platform to consumer-electronics companies. In particular, Microsoft could work with Toshiba to develop a digital video recorder with a hard-drive, high-definition HD-DVD drive and Xbox gaming capabilities. They're already allied against Sony and other backers of the Blu-ray DVD format, and Toshiba could help Xbox finally penetrate the Japanese market."
Toshiba has repeatedly denied the possibility
of a 360 unit with a built-in HD-DVD drive, it should be noted.