All in with Xbox: Microsoft sells Mediaroom

Mediaroom-logoMicrosoft and Ericsson announced today that Microsoft is selling its Mediaroom IPTV platform to Ericsson, a deal to be completed in the second half of this year.  Mediaroom currently powers 22 million set-top boxes in 11 million households, and like many Microsoft properties it has been seen as redundant as Microsoft expands its Xbox business further into the living room.

In a press release, Ericsson announced the deal, noting that it will place Ericsson as a leading player in “innovative video distribution”, with a combined market share of more than 25%.

The press release goes on to explain a bit more about Mediaroom’s market:

Microsoft Mediaroom is the TV technology behind many of the world’s leading television service providers like AT&T U-verse®, Entertain of Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica, TELUS Optik TV(TM) and Swisscom. Mediaroom-powered TV services are offered on more than 22 million set top boxes deployed throughout the Americas, EMEA and APAC.

Microsoft also commented, in a blog post on the Official Microsoft Blog.  IEB Corp. VP Yusuf Mehdi reiterated that the company is going all in with Xbox:

With the sale of Mediaroom, Microsoft is dedicating all TV resources to Xbox in a continued mission to make it the premium entertainment service that delivers all the games and entertainment consumers want – whether on a console, phone, PC or tablet. And with 76 million Xbox 360 consoles around the world with 46 million Xbox LIVE members, it is a mission that gets us out of bed in the morning.

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.

In some other Microsoft / Xbox news, The Verge reported today that it is hearing the same thing that Paul Thurrott mentioned last week on his “What the Tech” podcast with Andrew Zarian: that Microsoft will host an Xbox event on May 21st, possibly offering a first look at the next version of Xbox (known as “Durango”).  The Verge’s Tom Warren reports that the May 21st event

will be at a small venue with a focus on providing the very first details on the next Xbox, codenamed Durango, and Microsoft’s plans for Xbox in 2013.



We’re expecting to hear a lot more about Xbox at this event, at E3 in early June, and at Build 2013 June 26th-28th.