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."
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.
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.