Microsoft IPTV – Now For The Big Push

Update: Yup, my little birdies were spot on with the DT-Microsoft information. The very same cities where Alcatel is selling gear, Microsoft is doing IPTV. Press Release is here!
With TelecomNEXT, the newest telecom trade show going great guns in Las Vegas, the news is coming thick and fast. Rumors are flying about Microsoft making major announcement tomorrow regarding its Microsoft TV efforts.
Apparently, the Barons of Redmond have convinced Deutsche Telekom to sign-up for their IPTV offering. Microsoft spokeswoman said that the company doesn’t comment on rumors. Still, if you follow the crumbs, you can find proof.

Earlier this month, Alcatel, had made a big splash when it snagged T-Com contract for a broadband build-out in ten cities.

The Alcatel IP/MPLS-based portfolio will be a part of the platform for innovative services such as IPTV and interactive consumer services. Jacques Dunogué, Alcatel Executive Vice-President Europe & South remarked, “Alcatel has extensive experience in the network transformation required to deliver the next generation of integrated communications and entertainment services.”

Alcatel is Microsoft’s partner in IPTV business, and the two companies have worked together on many IPTV deployments. Microsoft IPTV has been much talked about, just like the white tigers of Sumatra, but remains as elusive as the big cats, when it comes to live deployments.
AT&T, British Telecom and Telecom Italia are some of the telecom giants who have signed up for Microsoft’s IPTV vision. British Telecom, infact has just announced final plans for its BT Vision TV service, and expects trials to begin shortly. Swisscom, despite previous setbacks is still on board.
I visited the Microsoft TV executives earlier this year and got some demos. While it worked in the “setting” the word on the street is that the scaling is still a work in progress. Ed Graczyk, director of marketing and communications for Microsoft TV recently said: “The second half of the year is when deployments will really take off.”

Worldwide forecast for IPTV subscribers by digital consumer market research firm The Diffusion Group seem to match Microsoft’s optimism for IPTV subscribers. The group predicts that by 2007, subscribers for IPTV will hit 8.9 million worldwide; by 2010, the number of IPTV subscribers should climb to 37.8 million worldwide.

Microsoft is going all out at TelecomNEXT with the entire IPTV executive team including Robbie Bach, making their presence felt in the Sin City. Bach is infact delivering a keynote and it will be fun, because he is pretty good. Of course since this Mix 06 thing is going on, maybe Chairman Bill will pop in? I expect a big big announcement from Microsoft.
On the flip side, what will Siemens do? The shame of losing a German customer after making a massive IPTV push, buying companies and what not? Maybe sell its communications business? – that’s the word is among the telecorazzi!