Microsoft sells its IPTV business to Ericsson

Microsoft sells its IPTV business to Ericsson

Summary: Microsoft has sold off its 400-person Mediaroom IPTV business to Ericsson.


The rumors were right: Microsoft has sold off its Mediaroom IPTV business to Ericsson.


Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, but according to the press release the deal should be finalized in the second half of 2013. Mediaroom is based in Mountain View, Calif., and employs more than 400 people worldwide, according to the press release.

Microsoft had been a player in IPTV for more than a decade. Microsoft fielded its original IPTV on-demand service, codenamed "Tiger," in 1994. Microsoft has partnered with a number of OEMs worldwide to offer Mediaroom services. Currently, Microsoft claims it is the number one IPTV vendor.

In a 2006 interview with Fortune, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said he believed success in Internet television could could kick-start Microsoft's stock price.

Just a couple of years ago, Microsoft was attempting to merge its Xbox Live and IPTV assets. That project was codenamed "Orapa" and was supposed to be released to manufacturing in the summer of 2011, so that Mediaroom operators could roll it out to customers in time for the holiday season. Microsoft teams were building Mediaroom for Windows Phone, Silverlight for Mediaroom and Mediaroom for Windows Media Center components.

Since that time, Microsoft has shifted its focus and is working to make its Xbox platform more of a set-top box and on-demand competitor. Microsoft is aiming to deliver its new Xbox console, codenamed "Durango," in time for holiday 2013. Microsoft is expected to do its initial Xbox Durango "reveal" on May 21, according to Windows Supersite's Paul Thurrott.

Topics: Unified Comms, Emerging Tech, Microsoft, Telcos


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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  • Sad to see how badly MS has messed up its media offerings. XBOX is not the

    They really should have put some effort into mediacenter in W8. It's still the best product on the market for combining a digital media library with live tv and dvr. What a shame they've chosen to focus on stb rather than whole house.
    Johnny Vegas
    • Typical

      MediaCenter was YEARS ahead the competition. Microsoft just never figured out how to make it successful.

      Where are the cheap (49$-99$) PlayTo audio and/or video endpoints to leverage the Windows media platform? This whole mess is just another incomplete ecosystem where Microsoft seems to have no clue how to tie the knots.

  • What a shame

    I've really been hoping that they would merge them together to come up with a really kick butt offering. They had the chance to be the first to have a great product across a variety of devices and not have to chase a competitor.

    Maybe they can at least salvage the Xbox media offerings by coming up with subscription IPTV service that is not tied to a local cable/phone company.
    • Still...

      It would not be enough.

      The Windows media ecosystem is incomplete.
      We need a (almost) configuration-free ecosystem to consume music and video on Windows. A way to playback media on distributed targets within the house using cheap PlayTo endpoints.

      Someone or something is preventing Microsoft to offer a complete Windows based home media solution. They had the vision but never realized it.

      It seems Apple understood before...
  • XBOX Set-Top Box

    The XBOX is a nice piece of hardware but the current software execution makes it a poor set-top box.
    Application and dashboard loading delays plague the experience to a point where it just become annoying.
    Also, the latest "tile" based dashboard is conceptually both efficient and clean at the design standpoint. Meanwhile, the current execution, misguided in my opinion, just became an orgy of visual disturbances with its noisy "ads".

    Lots of potential. Poorly exploited. Is there a visionary leader driving this effort?
  • Waiting for Durango "reveal" on May 21

    Hope it will meet the expectation and put Apple /Google and Smart TVs to bite the dust.
    • Really?

      You're either super-optimistic or you have access to restricted information.
  • It is just another screwed up product MS did.

    After attempting to use it to put other set tops out of business, and failed.
    • Funny, news articles say otherwise

      not sure where you get your info from, but it doesn't appear to come from this reality.
      William Farrel
  • IPTV- does this include ATT U-Verse ?

    How sad.. I have ATT Uverse which is IPTV based on MS Media Room and love it. However, i always wondered why they cant present ATT as an app and instead ATT has to come out onsite to install software to convert it to a STB. Its ROI is based on $7 per month receiver rental fee. I also like streaming my pics and movies from my windows 7 PC but was hoping for further integration between everything with MS GLASS, smartphones, Home server, Xbox, etc.
    Same old story from MS, ALWAYS ahead of their time, can NEVER seem to capitalize on it:
    Touch screen Pocket PCs from the 90s -> iPhone over a decade later
    MySpace -> Facebook years later
    MS Voice Command on smartphone (Superior WITH caller ID passed to ear piece) -> Siri on iPhone
    Xbox360 HD video Player -> BlueRay from Sony
    i cant think of any more but thats plenty. very sad they cant seem to market or create a market for all that great tech they created ahead of its time. Thats one thing i credit APPLE with: they sell technology and make it sexy -overpriced albiet
    sigh.. so much for my dream of a media server with xbox as the center of it all.
  • Odd purchaser

    Erricson is a bizarre purchaser, after leaving the Mobile Phone handset business a couple of years back, despite being a significant Cell Mast Equipment supplier still, and infrastructure provider.

    Surprised this lot did not go to someone of significance in STB's like Pace, the world's biggest Set-top box company, who in their range supply Media Room IPTV boxes for BT in the UK - BT Vision, which they acquired from Phillip's about 5 years back.

    Esp. as STB's are becoming more open and becoming shared platforms with App's and streaming and download coming to the fore.
  • Ericsson is the ideal buyer

    The most important part of an IPTV solution is not the user part (settopbox) but the server part at the side of the operator. An IPTV solution is sold to telecom operators and is tightly integrated with the underlying network infrastructure (VDSL, cable, FTTH) and is in a lot of cases offered together with an upgrade of the network infrastructure. Compared to other telecom equipment vendors like Alcatel-Lucent or Huawei, Ericsson did not have an IPTV solution in its portfolio and was experiencing difficulties offering a full solution to the operators
  • Yet another Ballmer bomb

    When is the board at MS going to see this clown has no clue? ( need I point out Win 8 as yet more proof )