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December 13, 2006

Alcatel faces off with Microsoft over IPTV

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by Brian Turner

Competition is good – especially for consumers interested in IPTV. And the market just got more competitive.

It seems that Microsoft, which had hoped to become the industry standard for the emerging Internet Protocol television (IPTV) market is going to have more competition than it expected. Not only are the likes of Cisco Systems Inc, and other industry giants entering the fray, but Microsoft’s former ally Alcatel is poised to join them.

Alcatel recently made a U-turn in company directions and joined forces with Microsoft. Now they are making another U-turn to leave Microsoft. It is speculated that the new direction could have something to do with Alcatel’s lawsuits against Microsoft. It is just as likely that the turn comes from the recent merger with Lucent Technologies Inc. Either way, the newly formed Alcatel-Lucent SA is aiming to carve out a chunk of the IPTV market for itself.

Alcatel-Lucent delivers core IP technology, software (that enables video services such as IPTV, video mail, and video conferencing) and is open with open interfaces. The new company is also developing application protocol interfaces (API).

Microsoft is not giving up its dream of being the biggest in the IPTV market. It continues to improve its own IPTV software and is aggressively signing up carriers for field trials. Just last week, Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (SingTel) was the 16th company to agree to use Microsoft TV IPTV Edition software.

Story link: Alcatel faces off with Microsoft over IPTV


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