TiVo Chairman Loves His Mac

8 Comments

Yesterday evening, while roaming the corridors of DEMO show I ran into Michael Ramsey, the chairman and till recently the chief executive of beleaguered TiVo. He was there to receive a top innovators award and have a fireside chat with Chris Shipley, the conference organizer. Ramsey gloriously defended his company, and said don’t count us out yet.

Without going into more details, I can say that he laid down some smack on Microsoft’s grand TV plan of dominating the set-top box, PC, middle-ware and back-end business. But hey aren’t they working on together – putting TiVo2Go on Microsoft portable media centers? Sure, he said, because he think Microsoft’s DRM and other front end technologies are neat and help boost the growth of TiVo2Go.

But the best part of the conversation was when we started chatting about Apple. Ramsey said a few months ago he switched – sick and tired of the problems with Windows – he went and bought a PowerBook, and now he has added a G5 to his list of computers. Well, this resulted in his company IT department thinking different as well! Memo to Steve Jobs: How about sending all the CEOs of top 100 Silicon Valley companies a Powerbook – and changing their lives as well. Wonder what IT departments would say when the CEO is walking around with a PowerBook!

8 Comments

Om Malik

Yes, I agree an Apple/Tivo combination would be wonderful. But I wonder if Tivo is more of a liability than an asset at this point (i.e. quarterly losses rather than profits) and Apple may well have a broader vision for the livingroom than an underpowered Linux box … I imagine Apple’s version of a Tivo will leverage Apple’s desktop technology and provide access to web services like google, weather, amazon, ebay, etc — I think Apple will make money by producing hardware that isn’t quit standalone, but that leverages against and adds value to the OSX desktop installation. And with so many PC-based free programming guides / DVR’s available, Apple has to see the writing on the wall that a subscription-based service like Tivo is going to lose in the long run. Perhaps, like iTunes, Apple will become the premiere provider of the 99 cent dowlnoadable television episode, for viewing in the livingroom or on some future “vPod” ….

Thomas Hawk

Om,

I’d LOVE to hear more about the “smack” laid down on Microsoft. The partnership announced at CES always seemed forced to me and with Microsoft’s Media Center positioned as pretty much a direct competitive threat to TiVo I’m curious as to what the “real” story is.

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