Feeds

Mediaroom: Microsoft's 'operator friendly brand'

What's in a name?

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Comment A briefing last week from Microsoft's Christine Heckart, the general manager of marketing for Microsoft's freshly named Mediaroom TV business, attempted to straighten out one or two misconceptions about the new name, and additional features added recently to the software.

Heckart continues to push the party line of the term "ingredient brand" explaining that Microsoft TV IPTV Edition, was not only too long to use for consumer branding, but it made no sense leaving "Microsoft" as the key word, given that Microsoft is known for different things.

But after all the explanations - that it was too much of a mouthful, that it came out of operator requests to cobrand with Microsoft, and that it had to be a subservient brand or consumers would call Microsoft for support instead of its IPTV operator customers - we still think there's another key reason behind the name change.

As Microsoft's strategy goes forward in media, it will inevitably touch all of the potential offerings that its rivals are chasing. Those rivals include Google as much as Sony, as much as Nokia Siemens, as much as Nokia's handset division, so the offerings that Microsoft MUST end up being associated with are portals, VoIP software, mobile VoIP software, movie and games services over Xbox Live, and MSN, as well as portable media players and eventually portable gaming devices.

These can (almost) all be offered in one of two ways, direct to a consumer, or through one or other kind of operator. Since Microsoft has the majority of its TV business through traditional incumbent telcos (although it has some Latin America business in cable, and a minor trial in the US with Comcast), when any of these businesses are to be offered by a telco, the product name will include Mediaroom. When Microsoft sells something direct to consumers, the product name will be one of Microsoft's own product names.

This ruse allows the different divisions of Microsoft to pursue both operator sales and "over the top" sales, with some clarity about which is which.

Heckart wouldn't say it like that and might not even agree specifically, preferring to say things like it being an aspirational brand, and it "being our proposition to service providers", instead. There is no charge to use the brand "Mediaroom" or "Microsoft Mediaroom" or "Powered by Microsoft Mediaroom". Heckart insists that it just "helps them to be more successful in this space", and then went on to give us an update on where the Mediaroom effort is today.

"The Mediaroom name suggests something that offers media, music and movies, giving access to your own media room, where you can get access on any device, wherever you are," but Heckart refuses to go into detail of just when this kind of capability will emerge, though hinting that the plan would begin to unroll significantly later this year.

But it does raise a number of interesting questions. Does Microsoft mean on any device or does it mean on any Microsoft device? Certainly the arrival of a placeshifting and a mobile TV strategy are overdue for Microsoft, both for its partner operators, and for sale directly to consumers.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.