France Telecom JV competes with Microsoft

France Telecom has established a joint venture called Soft At Home with long-standing vendor partners Thomson and Sagem SA to develop an alternative to Microsoft's Mediaroom IPTV software. The venture will be 60% owned by France Telecom subsidiary Orange and 20% owned by each of the vendors, both of whom are also based in France. Part of the intention of Microsoft's Mediaroom concept is to enable IPTV content to be shared across multiple devices in a single household.

According to at least one report out of France, Soft At Home will propose ways of doing this that more closely meet service provider needs, though it is not immediately clear what that means. Though Microsoft has had much IPTV success with carriers, there has always been at least a little concern that in partnering with the software giant, carriers might be turning over control of the in-home IPTV experience to Microsoft. Will they feel less vulnerable going with a venture majority-owned by a telco?

For more:
- see this story at Light Reading

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