This article was published on April 12, 2013

This week at Microsoft: Xbox, IPTV, and 7″ tablets

This week at Microsoft: Xbox, IPTV, and 7″ tablets
Alex Wilhelm
Story by

Alex Wilhelm

Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]

Happy Friday dear readers, it’s time to move on to the weekend, but before we disperse, let’s take a few moments to stare back over the past few days of Microsoft news. A recap before your nightcap, if you will.

I want to flag that Microsoft is being coy with numbers at the moment: no Surface sales numbers, no new Windows 8 sales numbers, no Windows Phone 8 sales numbers, and so forth. The company could be waiting on its Build event to broach new figures, but frankly, the delay is now more an awkward silence than a comfortable lull.

Now, ensure as always that you are following TNW’s Microsoft channel on both Twitter, and Facebook, and let’s get into the news.

Peace out, Mediaroom

IPTV, remember when it was going to take over the world? Well, Microsoft is checking out of the shebang, and focusing its energies completely on the Xbox console and its media delivery services.

To that end, the company has sold its Mediaroom IPTV business to Ericsson. Don’t think that this is Microsoft handing another company its refuse. In fact, Mediaroom has a significant consumer footprint. As TNW reported this week:

The purchase of Mediaroom, which is said to power 22 million set-top boxes in 11 million subscriber households, will make Ericsson the leading provider of IPTV and multi-screen solutions with a market share of over 25 percent, the telecom equipment giant asserts in a statement.

Still, compared to Xbox, that’s small. Microsoft is looking to focus its efforts, and Mediaroom simply didn’t mesh with Xbox.

TargetSpot to Monetize Xbox Music

TargetSpot of New York will monetize Microsoft’s Xbox Music streaming service. It will deliver in-stream advertisements, naturally.

The company will power the adverts across all Windows 8 and RT devices that support Xbox Music’s free option; this could number in the hundreds of millions of potential systems by the end of the year.

That said, Microsoft’s musical offering lags behind Spotify and iTunes in terms of market share. It is the heir of the Zune brand. In other news, Twitter’s music product is set to hit just about now.

Let’s go small

Microsoft building a 7 inch tablet? That’s the most recent scuttlebutt, and I must say it would not surprise me if the rumors held water. Why? A cheap 7″ Surface device would grant Microsoft the ability to vend a device at a sub-$500 price point.

More sales, more market share, and more Windows 8 users are precisely what the company needs. If Touch and Type covers could be redesigned to fit remains to be seen. Will it have a stand?

Frankly, if we saw this at Build along with Windows Blue – Windows 8.1 – I would not br surprised. A $350 7″ Surface could be a real boon for Microsoft. Expect it to be an RT-based machine.

Always on? And you’re gone!

Final note for this week: A Microsoft employee went on a bit of a Twitter spree concerning the idea of the next Xbox requiring an Internet connection to function. He’s no longer with the team.

The comments led to a backlash against the company; following the infamously botched release of SimCity, which required an Internet connection to run, such strategies are at low ebb from a public relations standpoint.

If Microsoft intends to pursue the strategy or not, it lost the week’s living room media cycle.

Now go have a Dutch Heineken, put your feet up, and wave to the Atlantic.

Top Image Credit: Amit Chattopadhyay

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