On Tuesday, Microsoft announced a strategic alliance with NDS Group, a News Corp company, to make Microsoft TV client software available to network operators worldwide.
The companies said in a statement that the alliance would extend the availability of new content and interactive services.
Microsoft and NDS will jointly market the software, expected to be available this autumn, to network operators, who will provide interactive services via set-top boxes to consumers. Both companies will also collaborate on enhanced TV applications and services.
In conjunction with network operators, the companies aim to improve consumers' "television experience" with digital programming, electronic program guides, information channels, e-commerce support, and interactive programming and advertising -- all of which would be based on Internet standards.
"Microsoft TV with NDS is a good complement to our advanced platform for development of the next-generation applications and services our customers are asking for," said Phil Goldman, general manager of the TV Platform Group at Microsoft, in a statement.
"Microsoft's adoption of NDS' open system solution for enhanced television will be a major boost to the industry as it builds momentum throughout the world," said Abe Peled, president and chief executive of NDS, during the announcement of the agreement.
NDS, a British digital TV technology company, develops DVB (digital video broadcasting) enhanced middleware, which is used in more than 1.5 million digital set-top boxes.