Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Microsoft Eyes UK Digital TV Provider 190

xiox writes: "This story by the BBC claims that Microsoft are planning to "rescue" the failed digital TV provider in the UK, ITV Digital. This would enable them to get a large share of the British TV market, as the British Government has decided that all TVs will have to switch over to digital by 2010."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Eyes UK Digital TV Provider

Comments Filter:
  • is it me? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by da_Den_man ( 466270 ) <dcruise @ h o t coffee.org> on Sunday April 28, 2002 @12:36PM (#3424892) Homepage
    Or does it seem like MS is trying awfully hard to get involved in "every thing " to appear to be helping. Yet, it seems to be all about control. Now, This may be off topic and modded as such, but maybe Government is not what we should be fearing...but rather the Corporations behind the government votes. Everyone in the US learned that their vote doesn't amount to much with the past Presidential election...so maybe this is where the "Big Brother" aspect will appear...
  • by doctor_oktagon ( 157579 ) on Sunday April 28, 2002 @01:01PM (#3424984)
    God no ... we don't really have the AOL-TW thing in the UK.

    We have BBC vs Channel 4, that's no bad thing.
  • by Phroggy ( 441 ) <.moc.yggorhp. .ta. .3todhsals.> on Sunday April 28, 2002 @01:06PM (#3425002) Homepage
    Surely you're not discounting AOLTW/Case?
  • Re:is it me? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by grung0r ( 538079 ) on Sunday April 28, 2002 @01:08PM (#3425004)
    I don't fear corporations at all. Because the great thing about corporations is that participation is voluntary. I fear government, because participation is mandatory.

    Particapation is not voluntary, you just have a choice as to who you chose to particapte with(Unless you want to live in a cave and hunt your food). As corporate consolidation continues, your choice will disapear as well.

    I disagree. I think its about, you know, making money. "Control" is a lot of work. It is much easier to just make money by making a product and then selling it for money.

    Microsoft may just want to make money, but they need to exert control over the consumer and the market to make more. To do that they need to goverment on their side. Thinking otherwise is just naive.

  • by scrutty ( 24640 ) on Sunday April 28, 2002 @01:21PM (#3425054) Homepage
    I don't think they are in it for the long haul. As I understand it they haven't been doing so well of late.

    Maybe its because I'm English and see more of Murdoch - but I think he's as sociopathic a megalomaniac as Gates is. I think you can read a lot into a corporation from its chief controlling founder's personality. I tend to see AOL/TW/Case as just more of your everyday (very successful) capitalists just following the megacorporation-HOWTO.

    Gates + Murdoch I find a bit scary as personalities. All just my opinions of course , and all total conjecture.

  • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Sunday April 28, 2002 @01:50PM (#3425146) Homepage

    This is probably a non-story. There's a $250 million poisoned chalice attached to buying ITV Digital as a going concern, let alone the fact that it makes a loss ever second it's on air. That's not pocket change, even for Microsoft, and bearing in mind their internal beaurocracy, they probably won't be able to commit to taking it on in time to buy the business outright.

    Chances are, nobody else will either, and the company will fold, default on its debts, and then have its assets (i.e. its license and equipment) bought by a new bidder. Most likely (wait for it) is the current owners, who are chuckling all the way to the bank at the thought of being able to effectively just wipe all the debts and start clean. Microsoft doesn't like to get involved in bidding; they like deals to be done behind closed doors and controlled entirely by then. Actually bidding on an open market would be... unseemly.

    I think we can sleep easy. But then, I'm already a UK Telewest customer, and Microsoft's already got their finger in that pie, so I may be suffering the first signs of Infestation. Make up your own minds. ;-)

  • by darien ( 180561 ) <darien@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Sunday April 28, 2002 @02:40PM (#3425362)
    Well, we had ITV Digital vs. Sky Digital, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News International. It was never a remotely equal battle. In fact MS is probably one of the few companies big enough to take on Murdoch. And just think - two vast cross-media companies, each with billions of pounds to spend, slugging it out in cut-throat competition for market share. Sounds like heaven for the happy consumer caught in the crossfire. As long as one of the companies doesn't actually win, of course.
  • by purrpurrpussy ( 445892 ) on Sunday April 28, 2002 @05:26PM (#3425956)
    I AGREE!

    Personally I think the digital transmission system should be handed over to the BBC (as they used to own and run the analogue system) - I suspect they're the only organisation that could actually get people to watch it AND utilise the possibility of data display as well as video.

    They have a long history of stuff like this - they "sponsored" the BBC model computers - they transmitted computer programs over the airwaves years ago - They still seem to like teletext which is rapidly becoming obsolete AND they have a pretty good website setup too. I seem to remember multiformat computer casettes as well.

    In 2010 it could be sold off with the government keeping a "golden share". AFAIK it still has this in the analogue system.

    All you need now is a good receiver/decoder (set top box) - I'm not sure this is ready yet. Some of the STBs in the UK are DIRE!!! The Telewest Digital box should be studied by EVERYBODY doing HCI as a example of how NOT to build a user interface!!!! Slow, clunky, confusing and the remote was not designed - they simply took a load of buttons and stuck the to a brick! I'd far rather have a Gamecube than more TV.....


  • Re:is it me? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by grung0r ( 538079 ) on Monday April 29, 2002 @12:32AM (#3427448)
    control Pronunciation Key (kn-trl)
    tr.v. controlled, controlling, controls
    1:To exercise authoritative or dominating influence over; direct. See Synonyms at conduct.
    2:To adjust to a requirement; regulate: controlled trading on the stock market; controls the flow of water.
    3:To hold in restraint; check: struggled to control my temper.
    4:To reduce or prevent the spread of: control insects; controlled the fire by dousing it with water.

    There is more to the word control then just your black and white, Orwellian or not view of it. When microsoft goes around buying up companys like there going out of style, thats control(of the market). When you can't by an OEM computer without windows on it, thats control(of the conusmer). There are lots of exapmples of companys removing choice from the consumer, ala "control". the best example is media conglomerates. The next time you watch the news, ,listen to the radio, buy a cd, watch tellivison, or see a movie rember that all of that is CONTROLED by 6 or so companys, and that number gets smaller all the time. How long before it's 2? or 1? That's control. Do our civil liberties suffer becuase of this? Absolutly.

If you suspect a man, don't employ him.