Skip to main content

Microsoft Mediaroom Brand is Shortsighted

Microsoft Corp. announced the availability of "Microsoft Mediaroom," the latest brand name for their Internet Protocol television (IPTV) software platform, featuring several new multimedia capabilities, including in-home personal music and photo sharing, dynamic MultiView (multiple picture-in-picture) capabilities, Multimedia Application Environment for development of interactive services and advanced applications, and digital terrestrial television (DTT) support.

However, soon after the announcement, Microsoft was already downplaying the name-change. Telephony magazine published the following executive comments. "We don't know where or how or if it will be used at all," said Christine Heckart, general manager of worldwide marketing for Microsoft TV. "There is no compulsion from us to our users on this," Heckart said. "Our attitude is, use it if it helps you gain subscribers -- don't if it doesn't."

They also introduced the Microsoft Mediaroom Application Development (MMAD) toolkit, which provides service providers and third-party developers with tools to create revenue-generating TV-based applications that run on the IPTV platform.

With this latest release, Microsoft says it's renaming its IPTV platform as Microsoft Mediaroom to better reflect the broader set of new connected entertainment experiences made possible today and "the types of experiences anticipated in the future." In addition, the Microsoft Mediaroom name and identity are designed to be used by service providers as an ingredient brand to create a powerful competitive differentiator to support their consumer marketing activities.

That said, I'm confused by the choice of a brand name that already has meaning in a consumer's mind -- a media room is a place in a home (i.e. home theater). So, if anticipated content shifting and mobility becomes an essential ingredient of Microsoft's IPTV platform, then does the re-branding actually create confusing limitations in the long-term? Given Ms. Heckart's comments, it may very well be a moot point, but I'm still left wondering about the implications.

"Microsoft is committed to providing our IPTV customers with the very best software platform so they can take full advantage of their intelligent, two-way IP networks, and begin deploying richer and more personalized TV and connected entertainment experiences," said Enrique Rodriguez, corporate vice president of the Microsoft TV business at Microsoft. "With personal media sharing and new application development capabilities, Microsoft Mediaroom brings the consumer television experience to a new level, enabling the best in TV, plus access to all your media in one place."

I suppose that Microsoft could extend the notion of the brand later on to "Mediaroom Unplugged" -- or perhaps they could adopt a symbol in the future, just like the performer Prince, and during the interim refer to the product as the "IPTV platform previously known as Mediaroom." But seriously, based upon the market results thus far, the telco employees who have been involved in Microsoft's IPTV deployments would just like the platform to be know for its scalability and reliability.

More than 18 of the world's telecom service providers have already taken the leap-of-faith by selecting the Microsoft IPTV platform for their digital TV offerings, and commercial deployments are currently underway with 10 providers. The Microsoft Mediaroom platform will be on display at NXTcomm, the new industry venue taking place June 19-21, 2007, at Chicago's McCormick Place.

Popular posts from this blog

Global Digital Business and IT Consulting Outlook

Across the globe, CEOs and their leadership teams continue to seek information and guidance about planned Digital Transformation initiatives and the most effective enterprise organization change management practices. Worldwide IT and Business Services revenue will grow from $1.13 trillion in 2022 to $1.2 trillion in 2023 -- that's a 5.7 percent year-over-year growth, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC). The mid-term to long-term outlook for the market has also increased -- the five-year CAGR is forecast at 5.2 percent, compared to the previous 4.9 percent. Digital Sevices & Consulting Market Development IDC has raised the growth projection despite a weak economic outlook, because of vendor performances across 2022, growth indicators from adjacent markets, increased government funding, and inflation impacts. The actual 2022 market growth was 6.7 percent (in constant currency), which was 87 basis points higher than forecast last year, alth

Mobile Device Market Still Awaiting Recovery

The mobile devices market has experienced three years of unpredictable demand. The global pandemic, geopolitical pressures, supply chain issues, and macroeconomic headwinds have hindered the sector's consistent growth potential. This extremely challenging environment has dramatically affected both demand and supply chains. It has led to subsequent inflationary pressures, leading to a worsening global cost of living crisis suppressing growth and confidence in the sector. In tandem, mobile device industry stakeholders have become more cautious triggering market uncertainties. Mobile Device Market Development Operating under such a backdrop, the development of mobile device ecosystems and vendor landscapes have been impacted severely. Many of these market pressures persisted throughout 2022 and now into 2023, borne chiefly by the smartphone market. According to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research, worldwide smartphone shipments in 2022 declined 9.6 percent Year-over-Year

Digital Talent Demand Exceeds Supply in Asia-Pac

Even the savviest CEO's desire for a digital transformation advantage has to face the global market reality -- there simply isn't enough skilled and experienced talent available to meet demand. According to the latest market study by IDC, around 60-80 percent of Asia-Pacific (AP) organizations find it "difficult" or "extremely difficult" to fill many IT roles -- including cybersecurity, software development, and data insight professionals. Major consequences of the skills shortage are increased workload on remaining digital business and IT employees, increased security risks, and loss of "hard-to-replace" critical transformation knowledge. Digital Business Talent Market Development Although big tech companies' layoffs are making headlines, they are not representative of the overall global marketplace. Ongoing difficulty to fill key practitioner vacancies is still among the top issues faced by leaders across industries. "Skills are difficul