COMMUNICASIA - Microsoft wants closer operator ties

Microsoft is working with operators to broaden the distribution of its consumer offerings, a company executive said.

Microsoft wants to expand its relationships with telecommunications operators as part of a plan to win more consumer business by bundling software and other products with telecom services, according to a company executive.

"If you want to reach consumers in the largest possible way, it's still the retail channel. But for us, it's a great, extra channel for us to reach consumers with telcos," general manager of Microsoft's Communications Sector group in Asia-Pacific, Greater China and Japan, Michiel Verhoeven, said.

One of the most visible components of Microsoft's work with telecom operators is Windows Mobile, which powers a growing number of smartphones aimed at business users. But that is only part of the story. Major consumer offerings that Microsoft provides through operators include set-top boxes that run Windows XP Media Center and Windows Media Player licenses for device makers.

These offerings also include Microsoft TV, which lets operators add interactive services, like video-on-demand, to their cable television or Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) services.

Nine operators worldwide had so far signed agreements to offer IPTV services based on Microsoft TV, and several additional trials were underway with other operators, Verhoeven said.

The relationship between Microsoft and operators also extends to the Xbox 360 game console. In Singapore, Microsoft has an Xbox 360 distribution agreement with cable operator, StarHub. Under that arrangement, StarHub bundles sales of the Xbox 360 with broadband Internet services.

"Xbox distribution with StarHub here in Singapore has been tremendously successful," Verhoeven said.

Microsoft hoped to strike similar deals with operators in other countries, he said.

To make this and other deals happen, Microsoft has a dedicated group that works with operators. The Communications Sector group acts as a single contact point for the Microsoft products that operators want to offer their customers as well as for the Microsoft products, such as Windows XP or Office, that the operator uses internally.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sumner Lemon

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?