Microsoft will be an integral part of the IPTV revolution, running the software that will reside in the set-top boxes of IPTV systems for Verizon, AT&T and BellSouth. As in the PC market, it has made a very smart and forward-thinking decision to corner the market for software that will dominate the node level of IPTV systems (it also provides some back-end software).
With so much tied up in IPTV, the company has a vested interest in making predictions about how the medium will change our lives and how quickly and seamlessly it will be deployed. Its latest public prediction is that IPTV will reach 10 million homes in the next five years. This could happen because of broadband penetration, anticipated demand and an increasingly digital culture. But consider that cable took 17 years to reach the same goal.
We will get more into this topic, and our predictions for IPTV ubiquity, business model sustainability, and the all-important advertising model in an upcoming Advisory.