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September 15, 2006

Microsoft’s rocky IPTV collaboration with Verizon

Posted by David Hunter at 12:56 PM ET.

Recently it has seemed that at long last the IPTV market and particularly Microsoft’s Microsoft TV effort were on the verge of success, but Jupiter Research’s Joeseph Lazlo points to some disconcerting news:

Interesting piece in the Journal today [subscribers only, sorry] about Verizon’s tribulations with the Microsoft pieces of its FiOS infrastructure. The Journal indicates that while VZ initially planned to use MSFT for both the middleware and UI/application layers of its TV service, in practice Verizon’s had to develop things like its programming guide and a music-and-photos application on its own, because apparently MSFT’s stuff took too long, was too bulky, or otherwise didn’t pass muster.

But it does say interesting things about the wisdom of carriers’ adopting the “platform” approach to IPTV deployments. Verizon was never going in that direction; they always aimed at best-of-breed, using different vendors for different pieces of the infrastructure. So it’s probably been easier for them to change gears as difficulties with individual pieces have arisen. How much harder for telcos that put their trust in end-to-end platforms, should one piece in the middle turn out not to work as planned.

Since Microsoft would dearly love to sell the platform, the continuing difficulties aren’t much of an endorsement.

Filed under Coopetition, IPTV, Microsoft, Microsoft TV, Service Providers, Technologies, Verizon

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