This year is gearing up to be year of the Xbox as Microsoft is so focused on its next-generation console that it has sold its IPTV business Mediaroom to software giant Ericsson.
Both companies announced the deal Monday, with Ericsson stating its plans to continue to invest in Mediaroom, which currently provides content to 22 million set-top boxes in 21 countries. With Ericsson now in charge, it will now allocate updates and future developments of the Internet-based Pay-TV subscription service. According to Engadget, AT&T's U-Verse, Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica will also receive support under Ericsson.
Just two weeks ago, the deal was still a rumor, but reports indicated that Microsoft had been focused on implementing entertainment apps into its Xbox console. The company confirmed these sentiments in a statement on its official blog: “With the sale of Mediaroom, Microsoft is dedicating all TV resources to Xbox.”
Perhaps we can expect to see this implementation in Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox 720 console, which is codenamed Durango and is expected to launch in May. Rumors of an "always on" feature, requiring the device to constantly be connected to the Internet, may make sense if the Xbox 720 will also double for a set-top box and provide video-on-demand services.
Mediaroom launched in 2007 as a successor to Microsoft TV. The IPTV platform serves a quarter of the world’s IPTV middleware market.