Microsoft appears to be mulling over plans to dump its IPTV business. Bloomberg reports that Ericsson is in talks with the software maker to buy up its IPTV software, known as Media Room, that is used to power services like AT&T's U-verse. Microsoft is expected to continue its focus on TV apps and services on its Xbox game console.
Despite not being a household name, Microsoft's Media Room technology powers 22 million set-top boxes in 21 countries, and recent estimates suggest that Microsoft controls a quarter of the global IPTV middleware market. The software maker originally launched its Media Room platform in 2007 after making "Microsoft TV" available previous to that.
Microsoft's continued focus on TV for Xbox comes at a time when the company is planning to unveil its next-generation console. Job listings in November revealed that Microsoft is building a new cloud-based TV platform as part of the same division that is responsible for Xbox. Recent rumors of an "always on" next-gen Xbox, and plans to include Blu-ray support, suggest that the company will turn its console into a fully fledged entertainment system later this year. An "Xbox TV" set-top box, expected to launch with casual gaming and streaming, is also a key part of Microsoft's efforts.