Technology industry giants Alcatel, HP and Microsoft have agreed to work together to provide server infrastructure for carrier-class triple play services, including IPTV. The deal, which also involves joint marketing and sales activities, solidifies some relationships already in place. For one thing, Alcatel and Microsoft have been working together for just over a year to mesh Microsoft's IPTV Edition with Alcatel's triple play infrastructure. Also, Alcatel already has an OEM agreement in place with HP. The new agreement, however, does connect Microsoft and HP in new ways. HP will now provide optimized ProLiant and BladeSystems servers to support Alcatel-Microsoft IPTV solutions, and Alcatel will offer bundled server solutions built on HP technology. Microsoft execs say that more than a few carriers will have implemented IPTV on their platform by the end of 2006, but we'll believe it when we see it.