More momentum for Microsoft's media juggernaut

More momentum for Microsoft's media juggernaut

Summary: I've had an e-mail dangling in my inbox since last week that I've been meaning to come back to.  It's a reminder of how the ecosystem around Microsoft media technologies is in full bloom and how, if some of the other media platform providers don't do something about their ecosystems, we could be facing a monoculture that's far bigger than the one we have with PCs.

TOPICS: Mobility

I've had an e-mail dangling in my inbox since last week that I've been meaning to come back to.  It's a reminder of how the ecosystem around Microsoft media technologies is in full bloom and how, if some of the other media platform providers don't do something about their ecosystems, we could be facing a monoculture that's far bigger than the one we have with PCs.  In this case, the news comes from SmartVideo Technologies that describes itself as follows:

SmartVideo Technologies offers the first and best-in-class services for broadcasting live, on-demand and download-and-play television content for mobile video consumers around the world. SmartVideo's television solutions deliver sharp video images with fully synced audio for broadcast to video-enabled cell phones and other handheld devices, via current and next-generation cellular and Wi-Fi systems. 

The news had to do with the introduction of Two-Minute TV to the lineup of video content offerings that the company is delivering to handsets. Says the press release:

SmartVideo Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB: SMVD.OB) announced today that short form video series from Two Minute Television Network will be available to anyone with a smartphone or PDA equipped with a media player. The free, ad-supported entertainment channel will put series such as Genius on a Shoestring; the first two-minute reality series, Adventures in Speed Dating; and News with a Punchline - in the palm of their hand.

OK, so maybe you're thinking "Who the heck cares about a two-minute reality series?"  That's not the point.  The point is that this company's content lineup is expanding by leaps and bounds.  Barely a week goes by without another addition to its content lineup.  The week before this press release was issued, another one came out that announced the distribution of stand-up routines from the various Rascals Comedy Clubs.  Still not impressed, here's a partial list of content deals that SmartVideo has: ABC News, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox Sports, E! Entertainment, IFILM, and The Weather Channel.   What does this have to do with Microsoft's media juggernaut?  Check out SmartVideo's home page.   The company is a Windows Media Service Provider.

Topic: Mobility

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  • The smart players go with the winner...

    Business as usual.
    • I keep thinking...

      ...of the saying, "Nero fiddles while Rome burns." Everyone's jumping for joy over the EU refusing to institute an EU-wide consistent patent strategy, while Microsoft continues to quietly expand its media power. I guess everyone would prefer to let Microsoft become dominant and then complain, rather than do something now to counter-act it.

      Carl Rapson
      • People are just indolent... besides, where's the impetus?

        Or even a figurehead to encourage the people? Everybody wants a leader, it seems. Not that it isn't unnecessary, mind you...
      • "They" did something, no one cared.

        They being the EU and ordering a version of XP sans the Media Player. No one cared and certainly no one bought it.
        • That was just the practice run

          Can't wait to see how you react to the main event.
          tic swayback
    • ...and eventually get crushed by him...

      Which is very smart and shows a lot of vision on their part. Instant profit! Go with the crowd! Who cares about the costumer's real needs? Choice?? Who needs that? What is that??

      Let's see if you keep singing the same tune when Microsoft patents an obvious concept upon which your already patented technology depends... This might happen sooner than you think, especially when "smart" players like you keep doing their bidding.

      Yes, just like you said, business as usual...
      • Precisely.

        Going with the flow wearing a smile (be it genuine or forced), being indolent, silently crying out, jumping off a tall building, or actively rebelling are the ONLY choices in ANY given scenario.

        Right now he chooses to be a capitulator. Once he realizes that his livelihood is threatened is when he (or anyone else in the go-with-the-flow minset) will start whining "Where are the lawmakers?"

        Nobody cares when the fascists go after other people. But when they come for you...

        You know, people need to be part of a society again. We can still be individuals, but we really are part of a society - currently one that tells us we don't need to be and that's self-destructive... the point being, we can only look after ourselves so far. But if we team up and help each other, more loopholes get caught and more people can genuinly BE happy.
      • Or gets bought out for millions and retires.

        Happens everyday...
    • And the moral and ethical players die contented, is that it?

      Your posts make complete sense now. ;)
      • Explain yourself

        Explain what is immoral or unethical about licensing your software to others.
  • Is there a market for this?

    Great, Microsoft has a super product that is going to dominate
    the field. The question remains, is there really a field there? Do
    people really want video on demand on their cel phones? How
    many people do you know who carry around one of those little
    portable televisions?

    Like much of the tech industry, this is a case of creating a
    product without a market. I'm not saying it will fail, but it's a
    risky proposition, certainly not as good a business plan as
    finding and actual consumer need and filling it. If there is
    something useful and appealing for consumers to do with this,
    then MS will have a big headstart. Or, if Steve Jobs is right, and
    portable video is not a high demand item, this will fade into the
    tic swayback
    • So...

      ...if no market actually emerges, people will (rightly) say that Microsoft took a foolish risk. But, if the market does develop, will people give credit to Microsoft for foreseeing it? Or will they just try to blame Microsoft's headstart on its PC monopoly?

      Carl Rapson
      • ...people will rightfully blame them... (NT)

        • Why rightfully?

          If there's no evidence of Microsoft using its PC monopoly to attain a dominant position in a new market, is that really illegal? So far, it looks as if two things are occurring: Microsoft is gearing up for what it perceived to be an emerging market, and content providers are partnering with Microsoft because Microsoft has the largest user base. I see no evidence of MS 'forcing' anyone to work with it in this area. In the absence of force, is it really a case of Microsoft abusing its position? It seems to me that it's more a case of the content providers taking advantage of Microsoft's position. Is that not allowed?

          Or are you going to say that Microsoft can no longer move into any new markets, regardless of the circumstances?

          Carl Rapson
          • Come on...

            Not that it is illegal, but it is clearly anti-competitive.

            Think a few of their buzzwords like "interoperability" or the "Plays for sure" slogan. MS simply will not take any action without basing it on its present monopoly user base.

            They are not simply entering a new market, they are trying to generate another monoculture - one of media formats - surrounding the existing OS one. Just like they want to create a monoculture sorrounding XML-based information, basing it on their installed Office user base.

            Naturally, content providers don't have a problem with that, for the time being... at least until MS becomes itself a content provider. Expect nothing else from them. This is what I meant by "rightfully".
      • Depends on the people in question

        If the market flops, it will be just another MS technology that
        didn't work out. One of a growing number. MS makes their
        money from Windows and Office. Their strategy (probably a
        pretty good one) is to jump into any possible market, hoping it
        will work out into another Windows or Office. They don't need a
        very high success rate for this to be a success. One product that
        catches on easily pays for all the failures. So no matter, it's not
        a "foolish" risk, just a failure.

        As for blaming success on the MS monopoly, some will always
        do this, regardless of the particulars of the situation. Then
        again, if MS does indeed leverage their current products in some
        way to create a new monopoly, shouldn't they bear some blame
        for doing so?
        tic swayback
        • Good question

          "...if MS does indeed leverage their current products in some way to create a new monopoly..."

          It seems to me there's a fine line between leveraging a monopoly and simply taking advantage of a dominant position. Since Microsoft has been adjudged a monopoly, does that mean that every single action taken by MS is automatically illegal? Can Microsoft not expand into any new markets at all without being accused of abusing its position? If content providers want to work with Microsoft because of Microsoft's dominant position, and there's no arm-twisting on Microsoft's part, is that really a case of Microsoft abusing its position?

          Carl Rapson
          • Depends on who you ask

            There are some who will cry "anti-trust" no matter what MS does.
            But it is a legitimate concern, given their past behavior and the
            resolution of that behavior--the lesson learned is to go ahead and
            break the law and deal with the minor consequences later.

            Not every single action can be claimed as an antitrust violation. But
            there are certainly obvious ways they could manipulate the market
            through their dominant position that could be seen as such.
            tic swayback
    • Depends what is offered. Live Content?

      Hey, people are voyeurs at heart. If say there had been a live broacast of the World Trade center attack, It would have had millions of viewers. How
      about the OJ low speed chase? Could be that "video at 11:00" is doomed....
      • How often do those events happen?

        So what, once every decade people will use this service? Doesn't
        sound like much of a demand to me.
        tic swayback