Microsoft Makes New Cable Moves
Microsoft is once again attempting to make its presence known in the U.S. cable market with the launch of a software platform for cable TV operators, dubbed Microsoft TV Foundation. The platform is aimed at giving operators more capabilities for advanced features such as VOD and interactivity. It's designed for use both in set-top boxes and cable head-ends.
Comcast, the nation's leading cable provider, will be a partner in the endeavor, the companies announced. On the hardware side, several companies including SeaChange, Motorola and Concurrent Computer Corp. have voiced support for the platform. Microsoft also announced that it would provide some of its vast software knowledge to CableLabs' OpenCable project for interactive cable applications.
The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant said it agreed to contribute "pertinent intellectual property rights" to the cable industry consortium and its OCAP software project. Microsoft and CableLabs will research the possibility of adding .NET common language infrastructure to future OCAP versions beyond the existing 1.0 and 2.0. The addition of .NET would allow a common runtime between computing devices including set-top boxes and PCs.