Microsoft announced today that it has sold Mediaroom to technology company Ericsson, while Ericsson will continue to invest in its progress. As for Microsoft, the acquisition of what it describes as "the number one IPTV platform deployed by TV operators around the world" marks the company's continued push toward multimedia streaming.
Microsoft will be working toward a "cloud TV" platform through the Xbox brand, which extends beyond the console itself to any device the Xbox service works with -- mobile, tablet, and PC included. While Xbox started out as purely for gaming, it's now offering a means for Microsoft of entering the TV business.
Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft's Corporate VP of Marketing, Strategy and Business, wrote on the company blog:
"It is not a mission that we can achieve alone. We want to partner with the industry to deliver the next wave of innovation in games and consumer entertainment. We will partner with content creators, studios, labels, networks, content aggregators, operators and distributors to make this happen. We believe the future of home entertainment is one where TV becomes more simple, tailored and intelligent. We believe the best is yet to come for this industry.
"Our vision and energy for the future of entertainment is more focused than ever. Stay tuned."
The timing of this announcement makes sense if the rumors of Microsoft's next-gen Xbox reveal pan out. Right now, popular belief is that the next Xbox, nicknamed "Durango," will be unveiled later this month or in May. You can bet we'll hear more about their plans with this "cloud TV" business then.