Microsoft's Mediaroom 2.0 IPTV platform: A codename update

Microsoft's Mediaroom 2.0 IPTV platform: A codename update

Summary: Microsoft's Mediaroom 2.0 IPTV platform is taking shape, according to one employee's blog. Here's the latest on the Rome, Taos and Monaco components.


It's been a while since I blogged about the elements comprising Microsoft's next-generation Mediaroom IPTV platform. But over this past weekend, one Microsoft employee finally blogged about them, too.

A quick refresher: Microsoft is believed to be merging its Mediaroom IPTV platform with Xbox Live via a project that is codenamed Orapa. Orapa was supposed to be released to manufacturing this summer in time for Mediaroom operators to roll it out to customers by holiday 2011. I had heard the following components figured into this new platform:

Rome = Mediaroom for Windows Phone Taos = Silverlight for Mediaroom Monaco = Mediaroom for Media Center Santa Fe = Settop box using Silverlight/running Mediaroom Ventura = Music and video discovery/consumption services (related to Zune)

In a September 4 blog post on Mediaroom 2.0's single-sign-on functionality, Microsoft employee William Zhang publicly acknowledged the Taos, Monaco and Rome codenames. He described Rome as a "Windows Mobile Client,", Taos as a "PC browser client" and Monaco as a "Windows Media Center Client." He mentioned the existence of the Mediaroom 2.0 set-top-box (STB), but didn't mention its codename. He didn't reference Ventura at all in his post.

Interestingly, Zhang also doesn't mention the word "Silverlight" at all in the body text of his post. making me wonder if the Taos "PC browser client" is an HTML5 client or if it is still somehow related to Silverlight -- as in a Silverlight plug-in for an Internet Explorer-based client. Last year, Microsoft execs said that the company was planning to bring Silverlight to the Xbox 360 platform, though they've said nothing for months about this. (Update: As reader "bowmanir" commented, there is, indeed a mention of the Monaco Silverlight client in the caption of one of Zhang's screen shots.)

I've been hearing Microsoft might go public with its Xbox Live TV Service offering and strategy around the time it "turns on" the Xbox Live dashboard update that is due out this fall (and possibly this month). Microsoft still hasn't announced the names of any broadcast partners who will be offering Xbox Live TV, but I’ve heard the company will likely go first with those already signed up to sell Mediaroom IPTV.

On a related note, Microsoft also is going to continue to support Media Center digital-video recorder/media player, with Windows 8, according to Windows President Steven Sinofsky. The first test builds of Windows 8 won't include this functionality, but the final product will, Sinofsky said. As I noted last week, I had been wondering whether Microsoft might rely on Orapa/Xbox Live running on Windows 8 as a way of delivering most of the Media Center functionality to customers starting in 2012. Sinofsky's post last week didn't provide details about Microsoft's commercialization or distribution plans for Media Center.

(Thanks to the various readers who sent in links to Zhang's post over the weekend.)

Topics: Windows, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software, Software Development


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • RE: Microsoft's Mediaroom 2.0 IPTV platform: A codename update

    The MS post does mention silverlight, he shows a pic of the "Monaco Silverlight client" right above the Deployment section.
    • Nice. I missed that

      Will update my post to note it. THanks a lot! MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
  • If these guys are building a client ...

    ... for Media Center, it appears Media Center will be revamped in Windows 8 - which explains its expected late appearance. Man I can't wait. Being able to see so many TV apps / channels is going to be fantastic!

    The group that's running this platform, should have a good advertising budget, and take its cue from old TV, that success will require a lot of effort in the area of discovery, discovery, discovery! These guys and the channels they support, will need to advertise, advertise, advertise! They will need to do this in order achieve some level of critical mass. The above is also the issue facing many XNA developers and developers of mobile apps. It is possible for them to break into the upper tier of apps. But in order for this to happen, in addition to having compelling games / apps, they will have to market their way up to that point.

    Media Center in Windows 7 right now is actually quite good, but no one knows about it, because it is not advertised. So again, the IPTV platform is going to have to market its way to success, in addition to providing a compelling service.
    P. Douglas
  • RE: Microsoft's Mediaroom 2.0 IPTV platform: A codename update

    This is really one of the more exciting products from MS since Kinect. Also, I am a huge media center user, but mainly from DVR and streaming. I don't care what product these features are in, as long as they exist. Heck, I would like to see WMP, WMC, and Zune and replaced with a new Zune client with a DVR, remote and streaming.
  • RE: Microsoft's Mediaroom 2.0 IPTV platform: A codename update

    The question is if Microsoft will provide local TV channels?

    And how will they do that? Will Microsoft deal directly with TV channels, or will the software giant rely on cable companies to integrate with this new platform?

    Today I'm running Win7 MediaCenter, but I've almost given up the TV part of Media Center here in Norway because there is no way to get digital TV signals with working EPG through MC.

    I'm not going to buy a XBOX console running Live TV unless local channels are supported.