05 September 2000

Still trailing in the race to lead the digital TV revolution, Microsoft hopes to vault the herd with the upcoming version of its Windows operating system which will also double as an engine for DTV.

Microsoft TV, the software giant’s system for DTV set-top boxes, will be incorporated into Whistler, its codename for the flagship version of its latest PC operating system. A trial version of Whistler will be on show at next Friday’s International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam.

Microsoft’s strategy is to crow-bar broadcasters into using its DTV technology by providing consumers with a single device to power their TV sets and PCs, thus eliminating the need for a separate set-top decoder by broadcasters using Microsoft software.

But industry analysts are skeptical: "They are maximizing their potential advantage," conceded Therese Torris, director of European Internet commerce at Forrester Research in Amsterdam. “[But] they don't have ties with the networks. They are not part of the TV industry."

News source: Wall Street Journal