Feeds

Software delays to cripple MS cable TV push?

Absence of software is fatal flaw in throw money at market strategy

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Is Microsoft's interactive TV strategy about to turn into a pile of ashes? Noises coming out of AT&T yesterday suggested at the very least white-knuckle negotiations, following Microsoft's confession that it wouldn't have the software ready for October.

European cable giant United Pan-Europe Communications has already gone into a mega-sulk over the delay, and it's starting to look like the megabucks Microsoft has spent on leveraging its way into cable TV in the past year could miss the spot, thanks to a development deficit. Compare and contrast: the PC market is a tied market, already shipping Microsoft software, so if a new OS gets delayed, not many dead. But the TV companies, despite all evidence to the contrary (how many years have they been going to do this for?), have schedules to be met, and they have choice.

AT&T is now reportedly talking to Microsoft about the delay problems, but it seems likely trials of the software will be pushed back from this summer to next year, which in softwarespeak sounds like something that could turn into a fall 01 rollout.

But curiously, AT&T's difficulties are largely self-inflicted, and probably reversable. Rather more than a year ago, an MS-AT&T hugfest brought AT&T some nice MS money, and (coincidentally...) AT&T upped its order for Microsoft units to 10 million. That's significant in itself, as the reports are now saying Microsoft was to supply software for 7.5 million of AT&T's initial rollout of 10 million.

The original 10 million commitment was an increase on one of 5 million, which had been made by TCI before AT&T bought the network. So we've gone up, gone down, and we're looking set to go down again. But the thing is that AT&T needs a stack more than 10 million interactive boxes for its network - it's what comes after those ship that's therefore important.

And if Microsoft does end up missing the gig, remember that the original 5 million deal with TCI was a consolation for Bill Gates. Microsoft had made an offer to buy into TCI if TCI took the shilling, but Microsoft was rebuffed, and TCI climbed into bed with Sun, and committed to standardising on Java, instead. The Microsoft deal was small potatoes compared to this, but one might well muse on whatever happened to the Sun hugfest when AT&T took over... ®

Related story:
AT&T contract obliges MS to make its APIs public

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.