Microsoft + Verizon: Most underrated victory?

Microsoft + Verizon: Most underrated victory?

Summary: In a news story written by News.com's John Borland, Gartner analyst Michael King has what could so far be the understatement of the year.

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TOPICS: Verizon
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In a news story written by News.com's John Borland, Gartner analyst Michael King has what could so far be the understatement of the year. In reference to Verizon Wireless' decision to use Microsoft's Windows Media technology as part of the foundation of its new cell phone streaming video service, King said: "It's one in a bucket of many small victories...they haven't penetrated far, in part because the carriers themselves are a little nervous around Microsoft. But they are going to be in the space."

In a column that I wrote earlier this month, I opined that the media client could be the key to the next technology monoculture. Microsoft's Windows Media Player, for example, already has a leg up on competing technologies because of the distribution channel afforded to it by the company's Windows operating system (an advantage, by the way, that the European Union recognized and then neutralized).

Already, each of the major cellcos in the U.S. offer phones that include Microsoft's cell phone operating system. That by itself hasn't dramatically changed the outlook for Microsoft's technologies, since so few of those smart phones are actually in end users' hands. But, if you ask me, given that there are many more cell phones than there are computers, for Microsoft to have scored a major U.S. cellco at the service level (the name for Verizon's streaming media service is "VCast") for its media platform is a coup of untold proportions. This is because, if you're a multimedia content author, you want your content to reach the biggest possible target with the least amount of work. As more content authors drift toward one media platform (the way software developers drifted toward Windows), the demand for that platform goes up and that platform becomes a self-perpetuating ecosystem with untold advantages over its competitors. Granted, Verizon is just one victory and there's still time for other platforms from Apple and Real to make headway, especially Apple with the other channels it's pursuing for its multimedia platform. But Microsoft's deal with Verizon is not to be underestimated.

Topic: Verizon

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  • Glad I switched to Cingular

    Don't want to support Microshaft any more at all.

    I use products that are superior (Mac, GSM, etc) vs products that are inferior (Windows, CDMA, Dell).
    ITGuy04
    • Agree with you except for the CDMA.

      CDMA is definitely superior to GSM technology. My GSM phone sucks, but i stick with it coz i don't want to deal with Verizon. Verzon has a better network and thats why they are so arrogant...But all this might change soon with the arrival of WiMax, unless of course Verizon and others lobby FCC to delay WiMax...
      low-life
      • Verizon USED to be good

        Then their CDMA network became oversold and the ugly truths about CDMA came out - crappy call quality, lots of dropped calls, phones not ringing, bizarre signal readings, etc.

        And this is in the NE USA. Verizon used to be great. Now CingulATT is light years better than my Verizon service.
        ITGuy04
  • Cell phone streaming video service...

    ...regardless of who's form/format/footprint will do more for democracy than American bullets over the next century. Being able to personally "broadcast" events as they transpire will make reporters & voyeurs out of all of us.
    mgardner
    • Where is this going?

      I agree with you how ever I have some concern that the technology might be used to cause more harm than good. I sincerely hope this will not come into our private homes.I agree with you haw ever I have some concern that the technology might be used to cause more harm than good. I sincerely hope this will not come into our private homes.
      greenjavlin