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Google seeks to strengthen IPTV resources in competition with Microsoft TV

The battle for leadership in the future IPTV advertising market is intensifying between Google and Microsoft.

The battle for leadership in the future IPTV advertising market is intensifying between Google and Microsoft. I chronicle the nascent fight between Microsoft and Google for positioning within the cutting edge IPTV sector in several posts, over the last 24 hours:

"Microsoft TV Enters IPTV Market in France with ‘Next-Generation Digital Television’ Software Platform”

“Google vs. Microsoft in Interactive TV Advertising Race”

“Google Targets Interactive TV for Ad Auction Model”

“Google Developing Social and Interactive Television Applications for ‘Mass Personalization’”

Today, a search at Google for “iptv” presents the “Microsoft TV” Website as the top two “natural” search results and a “Google is Hiring” top “Sponsored Link” featuring a Google job notice for “IPTV experts: Product managers, Program Managers, Engineers. Apply!”

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Microsoft’s move into the European IPTV market, announced today, is a real, meaningful event, as is the patent it obtained last month relating to possible IPTV advertising applications. Google’s sashays within the IPTV realm, however, are open to much more speculation: “Best Paper” award for research presented at an Interactive Television conference last month and several job postings for engineers and sales managers in the IPTV field.

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Google’s research and staffing moves will also undoubtedly be portrayed by Google in the same ambiguous (or misleading, as some may find Sergey Brin's comments this week regarding Google's China operations) manner that it characterizes all of its development projects and job postings, or, as I like to call Google statements, “Google Speak”:

Development Projects (Google Labs FAQ): Google Labs is a playground where our more adventurous users can play around with prototypes of some of our wild and crazy ideas and offer feedback directly to the engineers who developed them on which ones are interesting and which ones are just crazy, and why, and how you think they might be improved. Please note that Labs is the first phase in a lengthy product development process; none of this stuff is guaranteed to make it onto Google.com, and you should always remember to wear your safety goggles while using this site.

Google Job Postings (Eric Schmidt, Investor Conference Call 5/31/06): With respect to our job postings, the job postings do not directly and 100% correlate with the people we are actually hiring. We hire the person, not the job at Google. While we certainly do have reps and we certainly look for these kinds of positions, we really have an approach of hiring the best and the brightest in every field globally. We will modify our practices as we come across those people. So it turns out that job postings are not a predictor, if you will, of what we’re going to do in the future. Think of them as a marketing program to attract people to apply, but then they go through a more private and internal process. Our hiring continues apace.

Will Google develop and launch a meaningful IPTV application or product? Join the conversation: “Talk Back” to share your projections.