Greg Levine reports: No “freedom fries” here: For all the excesses of the supposed Franco-American rift of late, at least two entities are overcoming the transatlantic gap. Microsoft and French electronics giant Alcatel inked a deal to market their Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) solution to global broadband purveyors around the world.
The Yank software colossus and the Gallic network hardware equipper say the alliance will help launch a broadband TV movement in earnest. The two will furnish customized versions of the products to firms, but that may only be the starting point: The deal is geared to one day make IPTV essential throughout consumers’ homes, enabling “small screen” content to also be viewed via laptops, handhelds and the vast array of other gadgets that are being manufactured wireless-ready.
Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer says his firm picked Alcatel as a teammate due to its acumen in providing voice and video data. In a statement, he declared that “Alcatel’s deep understanding of broadband service providers, and leadership in broadband solutions and integration make it a natural partner for us. …Aligning our efforts will give customers an unmatched network-access, software-delivery and systems-integration solution.”