I'd much rather fund a dedicated "Media Device", which would probably be based on Linux/Android, with some notable differences from the current "state of the art".
- Custom designed hardware and software. It's a device, you buy it, you don't build it. The software will run only on the custom hardware.
- Full support for cablecard, DVR, OTA, cable, SAT, you name it.
- Full support for every media format known to man (except for Apple's formats, probably, given their walled garden mindset). This aint rocket science, it can be done, and done easily. Just needs dedicated resources.
- Full support for most streaming platforms (Amazon, Hulu, Vudu, etc etc). The support has to be "native", i.e. no slapped together thingamajig. The respective content owners agree and contribute the plugin/app/whatever you wanna call it. The problem is, this will probably never happen.
- A kickass 10' UI. We're in 2013, this aint rocket science either.
- Full support for navigation using a remote. No voice recognigiton, gestures etc etc. It's a media device, you want fancy crap, get an Xbox 89/PS 54/Nintendo 6547/whatever. As long as you can browse and find your media, you don't need anything else.
- A kickass metadata/library/integrated search capability. This is 2013..... you get the idea.
- Full support for remote access using a tablet, another "media device" etc. This is 20......
- etc etc.
Point being, that's basically a Media Center on steroids, and what MC "should/could" have been. Somebody makes that happen in the Linux/Android world, and Microsoft's stock will get crushed in a heartbeat. These folks don't get common sense, they get stock price drops.
I don't think we need another "Pre". Folks like Denon/Yamaha/HK etc have been doing this for decades. It'll be neigh impossible to build a supply chain that rivals theirs, and be cost effective.