Microsoft has announced the availability of Microsoft Mediaroom, an update to and new name for Microsoft’s IPTV software platform.
Microsoft Mediaroom features several new capabilities including in-home personal music and photo sharing, dynamic picture-in-picture capabilities and digital terrestrial television support.
For developers, the new Microsoft Mediaroom Application Development toolkit provides service providers and third-party developers a tool from which to develop TV-based applications that will run under Microsoft Mediaroom.
Microsoft have run their own Q&A with Enrique Rodriguez, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft TV here for those interested. The short version is that Microsoft is getting more serious about having a presence in your lounge room. Microsoft’s IPTV platform is already being used by nine service providers worldwide, with AT&T’s U-Verse using the platform in the United States. The inclusion of home network media sharing capabilities also creates an AppleTV killer in an IPTV set top box. As IPTV services become more widely available and IPTV set-top boxes are provided to customers for free, the need for an AppleTV style system lessens; after all, people don’t need two devices that do essentially the same thing.