There may not be another company as well-positioned to take advantage of the growth in IPTV as Microsoft. Despite being primarily a software company, Microsoft has long had a passion for television. The company launched the 24-hour cable news channel MSNBC in July of 1996 in a joint venture with NBC. Just less than a year later, Microsoft purchased WebTV, one of the first products to marry television and the Internet. In 2000 they acquired Israel-based Peach Networks, a provider of technology for digital television. The late nineties also saw a number of television-related investments by Microsoft, in companies such as AT&T, @Home, Comcast, and Rogers.
While the 1990s were a period of heavy investment in television companies (including a number of acquisitions), the 2000s have so far been much more about Microsoft developing television-related technology. It is on the resulting products and services that we now focus our attention.
The article, written by Mack D. Male for last100, goes on to profile each Microsoft IPTV offering, from WebTV in the 90's to MediaRoom in 2007. Mack notes that Mediaroom is the newest offering from Microsoft "and arguably the most exciting. More than just a simple re-branding, Mediaroom has the potential to be the television platform Microsoft has always wanted."
Check out the full article here.