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Microsoft: IPTV to reach critical mass this year

Ed Graczyk, director of marketing and communications for Microsoft TV, said the number of commercial users of IPTV services should scale up by the end of 2006

At least four major telecommunications carriers will be offering services on Microsoft’s (Profile, Products, Articles) IPTV platform to hundreds of thousands of users by the end of the year, a Microsoft executive predicted on Friday at the Cebit trade show in Hanover, Germany.
Microsoft’s quest to sign up carriers for its IPTV system had some false starts last year when some carriers who’d signed up for pilots either put off their commercial deployments or dropped out of Microsoft’s early-adopter program.

Currently, AT&T, Verizon Communications and Swisscom have commercial deployments of IPTV services on Microsoft’s software, said Elena Branet, senior marketing manager for EMEA for Microsoft TV. However, except for Verizon’s services, which are in more than 20 U.S. markets, the deployments are limited to hundreds or at the most in the low thousands of users, she said.

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