In his CES keynote at the annual convention last week in Las Vegas, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates did what he has done a thousand times before: painted a grand vision of a converged future where seamless communication and entertainment is where you want it when you want it.
But this year he made a quick mention of a topic that tarnished Microsoft’s image in 2005: Internet Protocol Television (IPTV).
“This is the year that the lead customers, AT&T and Verizon, are rolling out in commercial deployment,” Gates said in his CES keynote address. “Over the course of this year these deployments will really scale up into very large numbers, and that’s when you’ll really start to see the innovation come in, and people recognize that it blows away the previous video platform, and allows for an opportunity to create lots and lots of new things.”
Though Gates claimed in the keynote that the 2005 trials had been very successful, there were numerous news reports to the contrary.
Recent delays in deployment of the software by two European telephone companies caused second thoughts by Microsoft’s clients and competitors. Industry reports said that AT&T and BellSouth have asked other technology vendors about providing alternative solutions to fill in the holes in case Microsoft is unable to fulfill its promises.