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Microsoft + IPTV = Trouble?

Peter Rojas
Microsoft IPTV

Is Microsoft's IPTV strategy falling apart? Over the past few years they've made some massive investments in developing new software and technology for delivering television over broadband and cut some serious deals with telcos like Verizon and SBC, but El Reg says that lately things haven't been playing out the way Microsoft had hoped. For starters, the one IPTV rollout they did have underway, with Swisscom in Switzerland, has been delayed, reportedly because of problems with Microsoft's expensive and "overly complicated" software. To make matters worse, Bellsouth is rumored to be on the verge of dumping Microsoft from the IPTV set top boxes it's currently testing, something which might spook Verizon and SBC into jumping ship. Both companies are supposedly waiting on Microsoft so they can start offering triple-play bundles to their customers that combine TV, high-speed internet, and phone service into a single package. They see the cable companies adding VoIP and cellular to their cable TV and internet offerings, and the fact that they can't offer their own bundles is starting to make them antsy. Annoying the telcos even more, Microsoft is playing to both sides, and while its IPTV efforts languish, cable operators like Comcast and Cablevision are already successfully rolling out the company's Foundation cable set top box software (which does about the same thing but is based on completely different code) in several markets.

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