Microsoft Plans IPTV Euro Debut

The use of the Xbox 360 as an IPTV delivery platform will be discussed for the first time in Europe next month, with Microsoft due to make a keynote speech at a London conference that will outline the company’s plans for Europe and the rest of the world.
Officials from Microsoft UK have announced that the company will showcase IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) for the first time in Europe at The Connected Home show, co-hosted at the third annual IPTV World Forum, in London on March 5th to 7th. The technology will be demonstrated by Ed Graczyk, worldwide director of marketing and communications for Microsoft TV during a keynote speech at the conference, entitled “Future of Connected Entertainment”. Microsoft has already discussed IPTV plans for the Xbox 360 in the U.S., with talk of services including digital video recording and the ability to chat via Xbox Live while watching movies and shows. Bill Gates has also discussed the possibility of a deal with AT&T, which may lead to the Xbox 360 being offered for free in exchange for a long term IPTV service contract. The first IPTV services for the Xbox 360 are expected to be made available by Christmas 2007 in the U.S., with Microsoft suggesting that, unlike current HD movie and TV show downloads, the service could launch at a similar time in Europe. The company implies that the use of Microsoft IPTV software technology could see companies such as AT&T, British Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, T-Online (France) and Swisscom becoming partners in their relevant territories. "Separately the Xbox 360 and Microsoft TV IPTV Edition deliver unique and exciting entertainment experiences, but IPTV on Xbox 360 delivers a real value proposition for consumers, service providers and content and game developers alike”, said Graczyk. “By integrating these industry-leading solutions, we continue to drive innovation and enable new connected entertainment experiences for consumers."

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