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Businessweek: Microsoftilta sittenkin Internet-TV.

Uutiset, | torstaina 03.02.2005 - Toimitus

Ohjelmistomammutti Microsoft tuo sittenkin markkinoille oman Internet-televisionsa, IPTV:n, tämän vuoden lopulla Yhdysvalloissa, kirjoittaa Businessweek-lehti. Netti-tv:n sysäävät vauhtiin operaattorit, jotka ovat jo alkaneet myydä Microsoftin ohjelmistoa asiakkailleen. Netti-tv tarjoaa rajattoman määrän kanavia, ruudussa voi pyöriä monta eri lähetystä yhtä aikaa ja katselun hinnat romahtavat.

Microsoft on sijoittanut jo 500 miljoonaa dollaria IPTV:n kehittämiseen. Hanke on edennyt hitaast. Isona esteenä ovat olleet operaattorit ja hitaat yhteydet. Nyt laajakaista on yleistynyt, ja operaattorit saavat uutta bisnestä. Kaapeliyhtiöt, joilla on vanhaa teknologiaa, siirtyvät IPTV:n käyttöön seuraavan viiden vuoden kuluessa, arvelee analyytikko Hervé Uteza the Diffusion Group Inc:stä. ”Vuoteen 2008 mennessä jo 15,3 miljoonaa kotia tilaa IPTV:n koko maailmassa. Nyt kaapeliverkoissa on 184 miljoonaa taloutta koko maailmassa”, hän toteaa.

Television set-top-boxiin asennettavaa Microsoftin ohjelmistoa pitää Josh Berresh Forrester Research Inc:stä nyt lupaavimpana alustana netti-tv:lle. Microsoft saa jokaisesta boxista, jossa on sen softa, 2-5 dollaria. Ohjelmistolla ohjataan sähköistä ohjelmaopasta, digitaalista videotallentamista ja muita toimintoja. Ohjelmia voi tilata katsottavaksi milloin haluaa ja yhteydet ovat netin ansiosta kaksisuuntaisia online. Ohjelmiston ansiosta myös piratismi saadaan kuriin, mikä on sisällön tuottajien kannalta tärkeä syy edistää Microsoftin hanketta.

Goldman&Sachs arvioi, että Microsoft tulee keräämään lähivuosina yli miljardi dollaria vuosittain set-top-boxien softallaan. Maailmassa on nyt 1,7 miljardia TV-vastaanotinta ja 800 miljoonaa PC:tä, joten firmalle veikataan mega-bisnestä tv-markkinoilla.

Seuraavassa tiedote, jossa Verizon ilmoittaa valinneensa MicrosoftTV:n käyttöönsä:

Microsoft TV Press Release
Verizon Selects Microsoft TV as Software Platform for FiOS TV Service

Deployment of Advanced Digital TV Services and Interactive Applications to Consumers to Begin Later This Year

REDMOND, Wash., and NEW YORK – Jan. 28, 2005 – Microsoft® Corp. and Verizon announced today that Verizon will use the Microsoft TV platform for the commercial rollout of Verizon’s FiOS TV service, planned for later this year.

The Microsoft TV platform will support high-definition television, digital video recording and on-demand programming offered by Verizon on the FiOS platform. In addition, it will provide FiOS TV customers with an interactive programming guide that is attractive, intuitive and easy to use. Verizon and its third-party partners will use the Microsoft software to add advanced applications for future FiOS TV services, differentiating Verizon in the marketplace and bringing consumers the benefits of voice, video and data convergence.

“With FiOS TV, Verizon will be able to offer its customers more channels, more choices and great value,” said Bob Ingalls, president of Verizon’s Retail Markets group. “The Microsoft TV platform not only provides us with advanced digital TV capabilities that are designed to serve the millions of Verizon subscribers we ultimately expect will choose FiOS TV, but it gives us virtually unlimited potential to evolve our interactive services into the most seamlessly integrated offering in the industry.”

“Verizon’s FiOS and FiOS TV initiatives are examples of the innovative services and exciting new consumer experiences that forward-thinking service providers will be bringing to their customers starting this year,” said Moshe Lichtman, corporate vice president of the Microsoft TV division at Microsoft. “This agreement with Verizon is another significant example that some of the world’s largest network operators are choosing Microsoft TV as the software platform for their digital TV and digital home services.”

In addition to the robust television offering to be launched later this year, Verizon’s FiOS platform gives consumers faster data speeds, and crystal-clear voice, as well as innovative new services and applications, via a single broadband connection directly to the home. FiOS TV will use the Microsoft TV software platform and Motorola hardware platform to provide an expanded channel lineup, high-definition programming and hundreds of video-on-demand titles. FiOS TV will not only offer customers advanced digital TV services, it will also enable Verizon to provide future video applications based on Internet Protocol (IP) technology.

The Microsoft TV platform will work in parallel with Verizon’s iobiSM service delivery platform, which allows information to be shared across many different networks, applications and devices.

Although specific FiOS TV applications are still under development, Verizon could use the capabilities of both platforms to enable customers to do the following:

-Personalize their interactive programming guide, search through content, and schedule recording easily and efficiently from their personal computers and other connected devices.
-Incorporate IP content, personal media and communications seamlessly into the viewing experience. For example, consumers could play music or view photos stored on a computer from their TV screen.
-Integrate entertainment services with communications and data applications across televisions, PCs, handheld PCs, gaming platforms and wireless phones.

A key component of the Microsoft TV platform is the Microsoft .NET architecture, which supports applications on Verizon’s iobi platform as well as applications from third-party developers. The flexible .NET Framework gives Verizon an opportunity to broaden its range of applications and services for customers while also opening up new revenue streams to grow its business in ways that leverage the unique advantages of the Verizon network.

“Microsoft understands IP and the possibilities of two-way broadband connectivity like no one else in the television software business. We believe it is best positioned to help us leverage the bandwidth that FiOS will bring to the home,” Ingalls said.

About the Microsoft TV Platform

The Microsoft TV platform is a family of software solutions that help network operators create and deliver new digital TV services that delight consumers. Designed to help cable providers and telecommunications companies derive more value from their digital video and network infrastructure investments, the Microsoft TV family supports a full range of services including interactive program guides, digital video recording, high-definition TV, on-demand programming and Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) services. The Microsoft TV platform works across a full range of set-top boxes and TV devices. More information about Microsoft TV can be found at www.microsoft.com/tv/

About Verizon

With more than $71 billion in annual revenues, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services. Verizon has a diverse work force of more than 210,000 in four business units: Domestic Telecom serves customers based in 29 states with wireline telecommunications services, including broadband, nationwide long-distance and other services. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation’s most reliable wireless network, serving 43.8 million voice and data customers across the United States. Information Services operates directory publishing businesses and provides electronic commerce services. International includes wireline and wireless operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.


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