Microsoft has re-branded its IPTV offerings once again: Mediaroom is the fourth brand after WebTV, Microsoft TV and the recent Microsoft IPTV. Analysts say the new branding is a sign that Redmond does not want to go unnoticed by consumers any longer, and is perhaps looking to take its IPTV offerings outside the "walled garden" approach of set-top boxes and telcos. While the company's plans for Mediaroom have not been specifically laid out, one can infer from Microsoft's executives that a slightly different approach is forthcoming.
Corporate VP for Microsoft TV Division, Enrique Rodriguez said that "there are several reasons why we felt a new brand is instrumental to our success and the success of our customers. With personal media sharing and new Web-based applications, Microsoft brings the consumer television experience to a new level that goes beyond the TV set. With Microsoft Mediaroom, consumers get the best in TV plus all their media in one place, for a truly personalized multimedia experience. With the capability for more connected entertainment experiences, we felt the time was right to introduce a brand that reflected this next generation of television."
Microsoft spokesperson Jim Brady also mentioned to ScreenPlays magazine that the new Mediaroom delivery model uses XHTML on the client side, one reason for the browser-oriented model was to open up the platform to the applications market for IPTV to developers. "Some new apps will be driven by passions and social networking and recommendation. We just don't know what's going to happen," Brady said.
Interestingly, neither Microsoft nor its longtime IPTV partner Alcatel joined the recently formed Open IPTV Forum, which counts AT&T as its most prominent U.S.-based member.
For more on Microsoft's Mediaroom:
- see this article from BetaNews
- Microsoft has been absent from other IPTV events as well. Article