Business 2.0: I have a longish interview with BellSouth CTO Bill Smith, and we talk about the importance of IP, and how convergence is finally here. It has been cut to fit, but as a highlight I would like to point out his spirited defense of Microsoft’s IPTV efforts:
OM: Speaking of IPTV, I’ve often wondered why you and the other Bells are putting so much faith in Microsoft (MSFT) and its ability to come up with an IPTV platform. After all, they don’t have much history in this business, and have had setbacks recently.
Bill Smith: There are several other platforms that can replicate cable television or satellite television, but Microsoft will offer more options — like the ability to pull out my PDA and program a show I want to record without being home.
OM: And still …
BS: We have had our eyes open on IPTV, and none of the problems you mentioned were a surprise to us. Our primary concern was scalability, and we are working with them.