Microsoft IPTV sell off hints at Xbox TV deal

Microsoft to dump Media Room in favour of gaming platform; firm looking to sell of market leading platform

If you’re a cable customer, your next TV set top box could come with Microsoft’s next generation Xbox built in.

The company is currently in talks with a number of companies – including Ericsson – to sell off its IPTV business known as Media Room.

The technology powers 22 million set-top boxes in 21 countries around the world, including BT Vision in the UK. It is estimated its software powers around a quarter of all IPTV boxes in use.

Microsoft has been in discussions to sell its IPTV division for some time now, as it increasingly focuses on delivering content through its Xbox platform.

Recent job postings, as highlighted by The Verge, show that Microsoft may be considering using the next Xbox as a cloud-based TV platform. Such a move would put it in direct competition with its existing Media Room technology.

Such a move would also free up Microsoft to approach other companies such as Virgin Media. Virgin currently has an exclusive partnership with TiVo in the UK, which is direct competition to Media Room.

It is feasible such a move to focus on the Xbox could see the two companies working closer together, though no suggestions of such a partnership have emerged to date.

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