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Verizon Steps in to Fix Microsoft's IPTV 96

Posted by Zonk
from the well-here's-your-problem dept.
NYGiant writes "Microsoft IPTV isn't cutting it for Verizon, Ars Technica reports, so they've taken over parts of the project. Verizon is in a rush to perfect its IPTV service, which is based on Microsoft's IPTV software. The problem is that to run well, Microsoft's software needs more memory than Verizon's set top boxes ship with. From the article: 'Under the terms of that deal, Verizon would use Microsoft's Foundation Edition middleware stack. Microsoft would also supply a set of customer-facing applications. While Foundation Edition remains in use by Verizon, the development of the other applications was taken over by Verizon engineers.'"
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Verizon Steps in to Fix Microsoft's IPTV

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  • Shocked, I say! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WhiteWolf666 (145211) <.sherwin. .at. .amiran.us.> on Friday September 15, 2006 @05:42PM (#16117100) Homepage Journal
    A Microsoft Product?

    Late, buggy, out of spec, and bloated?

    Who'da thunk?

    Shocked, I tell you! Shocked!

    What I don't understand is why all the major TV players are signing on with Microsoft. Every Microsoft IPTV deployment has been buggy, overbudget, late, and required significantly higher requirements than Microsoft's initial stipulations. They must be vastly underbidding everyone else on the market; I'd guess Microsoft is spending hundred of millions, if not billions, on breaking into this market.

    I'd love to see one of these Microsoft IPTV deployments flop (I'm betting on SBC's deployment). That'll drive the market away from the Vole, regardless of how cheap they're willing to do the (shoddy, useless) work.

    How much it feel to work in one of these Microsoft shops? How does it feel to know that cut-rate out-sourced contracted programmers from India with no background on the project did it better and faster than you? I know that India has a wealth of high-quality programmers, but the general rule is that in-house (especially at major programming shops in the U.S.) is better than out-sourced; just more expensive.

    In this case, it seems that with Microsoft you pay more, and get less. Given their monopoly status, I guess that is appropriate. Monopoly-sized market distortions = inefficency. It's too bad that survival of the fittest takes so long to damage a monopoly.
  • Re:Shocked, I say! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sm62704 (957197) on Friday September 15, 2006 @05:58PM (#16117216) Journal
    What I don't understand is why all the major TV players are signing on with Microsoft.

    It's the mantra. In the 1980s it was "nobody evet got fired for buying IBM", today it's "nobody ever got fired for buying Microsoft".
  • by redphive (175243) on Friday September 15, 2006 @06:11PM (#16117289) Homepage
    Having worked in the cable television industry for the past 15 or so years, I am going to have to highlight the fact that IPTV is far from a monopoly. Moreover, Verizon could hardly be called a monopoly, with emerging technologies such as VoIP, Cellular and Cable based Digital Phone service (yes it is just VoIP but is typically handled across a fully managed network) as well as other ISP options, they are set to face customer erosion in the near future.
  • by towsonu2003 (928663) on Friday September 15, 2006 @06:56PM (#16117575)
    Verizon is _fixing_ something? That is disturbing news, even if they are fixing Microsoft...

    [rant]

    A couple of weeks ago, I tried to order DSL from Verizon. Well, twice in fact.

    My first order? As it turns out, they somehow lost it after I waited for a week for a response from them. So I had to reorder, via phone...

    So the agent told me that DSL _was_ available for my area. Nice! I reordered it.

    I waited for two weeks. After two weeks, I wrote a complaint letter (about me waiting for two weeks). Lo and behold, I got a phone call next day, from a Verizon machine, telling that my DSL order was cancelled because DSL was not available in my area.

    I lived in a so-called 3rd world country for a few months. It took them 2 days to take my DSL order and activate my phone line for DSL...

    [/rant]

    The idea here? They are fixing Microsoft while their whole system is [beep]. Poor[*] Microsoft... O_o

    [*] Not even a sarcastic comment...

  • Re:Shocked, I say! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by astrosmash (3561) on Friday September 15, 2006 @08:32PM (#16118052) Journal

    I have a theory.

    Back in the eighties and early nineties Microsoft wasn't much of a software company. They had a (well deserved) reputation for simplistic, unsophisticated, poor quality software, and they certainly never would have survived without the truck loads of free money coming in from their MS-DOS royalties.

    Their transformation into a real software company in the early nineties is well documented, and while the quality of their software greatly improved they were still burdened with a reputation for unsophisticated, poor quality software (some of it deserved, some not). As a result, I think Microsoft engineers tend to over-compensate for this reputation by dramatically over-designing and over-engineering most of their modern software. But what else can you do if you must still support Win9x running on an MS-DOS/FAT file system?

    It's no surprise to me that their software would overshoot the hardware requirements. Simple, elegant solutions are just not in cards for Microsoft engineers.

  • the microsoft way... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by La Fourmi Nihiliste (906448) on Friday September 15, 2006 @09:37PM (#16118316)
    Microsoft is going at IPTV with the windows attitude: they are so infatuated with themselves that they think they will be the standard.

    I had the chance of seeing a test deployment of MS's IPTV "solution" in a testing environment for evaluation and its basically sucks. The system is buggy, server intensive -- one of the engineers who demoed it to me refered to it as a 'Server Per Customer' solution. and in good MS tradition, cool features get dropped from version to version, as they are considered too buggy.
    Visually speaking the "solution" isn't really great. Anyone who has a MediaCenter version of XP knows exactly how it looks and works, and skinning the menus, onscreen guide and services isnt possible.
    i, for one, would never sign up to an IPTV service using the MS system. not because i hate them, but because i would not want a system that is far from being user-friendly. I would not recommend it to my worst ennemy.

    No wonder Verizon is investing efforts to patch the thing: its a complete disaster. And verizon, in the good tradition of the Telco industry, cannot accept such a buggy and yet so costly system. If microsoft thought it could just walk into the IPTV business and dominate, they are wrong. At least this is a reassuring thing: money does not buy everything without effort, good will, and creativity.

    once again, as for many other of its endeavors (the name Vista comes to mind) MS sets expectations that it cannot meet. When will people notice that, i keep wondering.

    MS should throw less chairs accross offices and concentrate on what they do best...

    oh wait... their speciality is buggy, coslty software with inexistant user friendlyness!

    ant

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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