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Friday, October 13, 2006

Microsoft TV: If It Ain't Fixed Don't Break It

Stocks: (MSFT)(VZ)(DT)(BT)(T)

Microsoft is trying to redeem itself in the IPTV software market. After delivering broken software to telecoms, it is hoping to get things right for deployments next year.

Aside from some sales success with Deutsche Telekom, BT, and AT&T, the software has not been rolled out extensively. Verizon also plans to use the product in its fiber-to-the home TV initiative.

But, that's the problem. Telecom TV is already decades behind the cable companies. And, big cable offers VoIP and fast broadband now. Even if the AT&T and Verizon fiber operations are built on time, any further delays or programming issues in the Microsoft IPTV software could delay and initiative in which the telecoms are trying to break the cable deadlock.

Research firm Gartner says that IPTV could be a could be a $13 billion business by 2010.

Not if the software doesn't work.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.

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