Is This Microsoft’s Future Media Platform/Service?

Dave
Zatz wants to know
what this
odd trademark application
is about filed by Microsoft in Australia, and
frankly so do I.  Long
Zheng
first pointed it, and I have to say that nothing here really makes
sense without stretching the imagination pretty far.

First of all, Microsoft is trying to trademark an image, the
“arrowheads diverging from disc” as they put it.  This is followed by the
most obscure classification of what it might relate to.  Among them, “Computer
software for delivery of broadcast-quality video and television programming
over broadband, cable, satellite and wireless networks; computer software for
providing video-on-demand services; downloadable films and TV programs provided
via video-on-demand”
and much more.  It basically includes a summery
of everything involved in delivery of content and then playback and personal
distribution of that content.

Here’s
the full list of the various “Good and Services” that it would/could provide.

  • Computer
    software for delivery of broadcast-quality video and television
    programming over broadband, cable, satellite and wireless networks
  • Computer
    software for providing video-on-demand services
  • Downloadable
    films and TV programs provided via video-on-demand
  • Computer
    software for transmitting personal photos, video and music over broadband,
    cable, satellite and wireless networks
  • Computer
    software for digital video recording
  • Computer
    software for providing a programming guide to display available video and
    television broadcasts and downloads
  • Broadcasting
    services, providing video and television programming over broadband,
    cable, satellite and wireless networks
  • Video-on-demand
    services via broadband networks
  • Entertainment
    services
  • Providing
    information concerning television and video programming
  • Providing
    online user guides featuring information on television and video programs
    available over broadband, cable, satellite and wireless networks and
    available via video-on-demand services
  • Provision
    of non-downloadable films and TV programs via a video-on-demand service
  • Distribution
    of television shows, movies and videos for others

First of all, I’m
not a big trademark know-it-all, but why did Microsoft apply for this in
Australia?

Many
have suggested this might be Microsoft’s counter to Joost, or some type of
addition to their IPTV platform.  I really have no idea, so here are some
random ramblings about it.  It seems to early to go after Joost, so I’m ruling out a direct product to compete with Joost.

Whatever
all of this is will likely revolve around VC-1 to deliver this
“broadcast-quality video.”  Using VC-1 opens up this service or product up
to various Microsoft devices including Vista PCs, Zune and Xbox 360.  I
feel like whatever it is will have the word “Anywhere” in the name. 
“Windows Live _______ Anywhere” seems like it would work nicely (maybe even a part of the Xbox LIVE Anywhere?)

So,
my best guess for what this could be is some sort of whole home and/or whole
life entertainment solution.  It’s everything, anywhere, anytime. 
It’s a Slingbox-Media Center-Live Marketplace-“Social” experience.  It
works on your Vista PC, Zune, Xbox 360, Windows Mobile phone, etc.

 It
would be truly “Connected Entertainment.”  Now, what are the chances of
the above?  I have no idea.  It seems like Microsoft would need to
partner with a few people to make this work, mainly for a way to provide all
that content “over broadband, cable, satellite and wireless networks.”

To
me that doesn’t seem like a simple addition to their IPTV platform, it
sounds like a whole different concept based on being able to provide your media
anywhere you are and at the same time opening the door for content providers to
get their media out the door in new ways.  Maybe it mixes in Windows
Home Server
to be the center of distribution from inside the home.  Maybe it also would give Media Center users
that SoftSled
by any other name
that we have been looking for.  Maybe this is the key to connecting all of
Microsoft’s half-baked products into a single unified product offering.

Only
time will tell.  What does it sound like
to you?

3 thoughts on “Is This Microsoft’s Future Media Platform/Service?

  1. Sounds to me like a random filing for just in case. I have worked closely with MS on projects and have seen them thrown away a $15M dollar investment in a project they hired us to build, only to bring out their own really flaky version. MS is a big company. Don’t ever assume the right hand knows what the left hand is doing.

  2. Could just be wishful thinking. Everything you mention sounds great but I worry that Microsoft just doesn’t get the bigger picture. Perhaps it’s because they are mainly an office/developer company or because they’re not hungry enough but I see lots of chances with the Home Entertainment divison that I’m rather worried they are going to miss.

    A whole home media ecosystem such as you describe, integrated across platforms, is exactly what is missing in the current landscape and I see a void that Microsoft could fill but I just don’t see the drive towards filling it.

    This could also just Microsoft playing CYA. Seems companies are getting ever more litigious (sp?) and you pretty much have to patent breathing if you want to make sure you don’t get sued down the road for doing something that seems fairly basic but some patent troll is just waiting to hit the Microsoft lottery.

    On a more positive note, in a bright and happy place, I’m hoping this is what I call “Project Yeti”. The bridge between the Xbox and the Zune (see how clever, X-Y-Z). The ability to bring the Marketplace concept of video and music to the Media Center and vice versa. To finally tie the various Media platforms into one cohesive whole and place it squarly in the consumer’s living room and back pocket.

  3. Sounds connected to soapbox to me. Also wasn’t there some news that microsoft was involved in that new site fox and cbs (was it cbs or nbc) were going to make to put up their copyrighted works instead of users using youtube?

    The why was it applied for in australia is simple, trademarks are regional, you have to apply for it everywhere to trademark something on a worldwide scale. chances are, if you watch the us trademark site it’ll also appear there.

    remember, a trademark isn’t a patent, they are just registering name/logo protection.

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