Do you care if Microsoft is in your TV?

Do you care if Microsoft is in your TV?

Summary: Microsoft updates its Internet Protocol television (IPTV) platform named Mediaroom in its latest volley into the television market. But what's most notable here is that Microsoft is aiming for Mediaroom to be an "ingredient brand.

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TOPICS: Microsoft, Hardware
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Microsoft updates its Internet Protocol television (IPTV) platform named Mediaroom in its latest volley into the television market. But what's most notable here is that Microsoft is aiming for Mediaroom to be an "ingredient brand."

mediaroom.jpgIntel is the most successful at the ingredient brand strategy. After all, we all know Intel is inside our PCs.

Has anyone else noticed any ingredient brands lately? Aside from maybe a few food ingredients such as NutraSweet or Splenda I can't recall any.

That fact brings up an interesting question: Do you care if Microsoft is in your set-top box? Probably not (Techmeme discussion).

I'm pondering this topic since I'll be getting IPTV soon via Verizon's FiOS service. Verizon is a Microsoft customer, but it's unclear whether or when Mediaroom would be rolled out. Personally, I don't care what powers IPTV as long as the TV stays up, it's a better deal and my 4-year-old gets the same on-demand shows she can get on Comcast.

Now these features in Mediaroom (gallery) do sound interesting. Microsoft says Mediaroom will have music and photo sharing with your PC--much like Apple TV--allow providers to develop applications and services and support digital terrestrial TV.

Microsoft has been hot for TV forever, but the company does seem to be learning how the industry works. The biggest lesson in the Mediaroom announcement seems to be that Microsoft realizes providers don't want to make the software giant the lead brand. For instance, Verizon and AT&T want to be the big brand and could see Microsoft as a threat. The solution: Microsoft takes a back seat, becomes and ingredient and still pockets all the dough from selling software. Microsoft hands over the code and collects the cash. Not a bad move.

Topics: Microsoft, Hardware

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4 comments
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  • As much as I would like to see more competition for Microsoft

    It does produce incredibly polished user interfaces for the products it creates. I can
    say that the dashboard for the XBox360 is very nice and just on that experience alone
    I would not object to IPTV being in a set top box.

    -M
    betelgeuse68
  • I've already got Microsoft in my TV ...

    ... because Sony subcontracted the OSD for their wide screen TVs some years ago. It is a uniformly dreadful piece of software. The major flaws are:

    1. When scanning for digital channels it takes nearly 20 minutes
    2. It misses out some known channels.
    3. Missed channels are not marked as "unused"
    4. If you select a "missed" channel it loops between it and the next "in use" channel until you switch the TV off (a Microsoft signature? Turn it off and on again!)
    5. Ocassionally it mixes the channels up and you see channel 12 on channel 11's setting.
    6. The electronic programme guide is utterly cr*p. It can take 10 or 15 minutes to find out what is on.
    7. On screen text, when it works, is ok.


    Eventually I bought a "Made in Taiwan" set-top box. It scans all the digital channels in under a minute, misses none and the programme guide is a treat to use.

    Hopefully Microsoft's next TV offering will be better. However, if it is based on Vista, will I need to upgrade the TV or will it run in "home basic" mode? ;-)
    bportlock
  • FiOS isn't IPTV

    though CVerizon is working on IPTV, FiOS is plain old cable TV technology for now.
    bmeyerson
  • Yep...

    ... Sounds about right for MS software.
    MacVet