Sunday, November 14, 2004

Microsoft Sharpens Up Its Elbows

Microsoft Sharpens Up Its Elbows: "For a decade, the software giant has tried mightily to wedge its way into the digital-TV market, failing at every turn. Remember WebTV? Or UltimateTV? All told, Microsoft has spent more than $10 billion since 1994 on TV projects and cable investments.
This time, though, the company is convinced it can make inroads. Take Microsoft's set-top box technology, which Comcast will initially offer to 1.1 million Seattle area homes. Analysts say it approaches the elegance of TiVo's pioneering digital video recorder (DVR), giving it an advantage over the slapdash TiVo wannabes currently on the market from cable providers. The service offers an electronic programming guide that lets users find shows up to two weeks in advance. Users who opt for the digital recorder can copy shows to a 120-gigabyte hard drive, large enough to store 90 hours of programming. 'Finally, this is the real deal, and we can take Microsoft's role seriously in set-top-box software,' says senior analyst Greg Ireland of researcher IDC."
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