Microsoft Says, "There is More Room For Media At Home" While Apple Gives You A Ride

Old Friends

As the race towards the digital future heats up, both Microsoft and Apple continue to make very interesting moves. As usual Apple's moves are a little less predicable, we will see if the success is as unpredictable as the iPod was so many years ago.

There is Always Room For Media

Microsoft announced the renaming of it IPTV platform, and with it announced some new features.

The press release highlights a few main features:

  • Personal Media Sharing

    • Although it does not go into detail on how it is done the idea here is that Microsoft is attempting to further content convergence within the home across all platforms and bring the media you want to the device you want it on, when you want. I really love this concept.

  • Multimedia Application Environment

    • While they promise richer support for web services, I am skeptical as to what this actually means. The press release does promise a developers toolkit which will be vital for the success of this product in an open source world

  • Enhanced Mulitview

    • Multiple channels (snore), Multiple camera angles, sure, this is cool but who is shooting the video for this? A few weeks back I wrote about Immersive Media. My thought is that these types of technologies are on their way, but we are not quite there yet.

The bottom line is that the dream of IPTV is far from a dream (for those of us paying attention this have been evident for a long time). What really strikes me as important is not the technology itself. What strikes me is the changes in consumption habits and the ability to make TV interactive and even social. The implications of Personal Media Sharing go far beyond convenience. Imagine watching TV online while chatting with friends. You got to the bathroom, miss a play on the big game and although you can rewind, you can also get commentary from your buddies in Germany (even though you are in American).

When we talk about Web 3.D the third dimension is not always the Z axis. The third dimension can be you, your perspective and presence within the mediated environment. The third dimension is also the shared experience between between people.

Apple Is All Over The Place

The iPod, the iPhone and now the iCar?

Apple has announced that they will be working with Mercedes to create an in car maintenance, navigation and communication system by 2009. They will be leveraging Google for navigation and mapping information.

The play here puts Apple in an unlikely market with much less competition then the market they recently entered with the iPhone. What does this signify?

Ubiquitous computing coupled with Google's ideal of making the worlds information useful. Furthermore, with this type of system it will be much easier to deliver ads prompted by location.

Exciting Stuff!

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