Microsoft TV IPTV Edition makes way for Microsoft Mediaroom. With the name change comes a bigger emphasis on multimedia, including in-home sharing of music and photos between PCs and TVs. Some other facets of the announcement being made at NXTcomm Monday:
— Microsoft is opening its platform to allow service providers and third-party developers “to create compelling, revenue-generating TV-based applications that run on the platform.”
— “Enhanced MultiView”: PIP gets a major-league enhancement although I’m not sure how many users really want to open up to 16 PIP screens in one screen at once. Even Microsoft admits not all TV can handle it and that six is probably the most anyone will want to have open.
— “Ingredient” branding a la “Intel Inside” — providing what Microsoft calls the “very strong asset” of a “well-proven brand.” It’s optional, which means that service providers who don’t see Microsoft as a marketing plus can skip it.
Whatever the name, 18 service providers including AT&T have signed up for Microsoft’s IPTV solution; 10 have commercial deployments underway. But Microsoft’s middleware also is raised as a usual suspect whenever those deployments hit a snag – something a name change isn’t likely to halt. Release. More from Multichannel, Reuters.