Verizon Communications is frustrated with a series of technical glitches in Microsoft TV software and missed delivery dates by Microsoft Corp., according to the Wall Street Journal (see story; requires subscription). Verizon now has its own programming teams working on elements of the software, the WSJ reported.
Verizon sources acknowledge they are developing software themselves that initially was to be developed by Microsoft, according to the paper, which may include elements that should have been available from Microsoft in its Foundation Edition, a software platform for program guides and other applications.
Microsoft, in a written statement, does not address the specific charges, but observes that Verizon continues to run Microsoft TV software in all FiOS installations, creating the inferences that while there may indeed be technical glitches in some Microsoft software, a) the basic functionality of Microsoft TV software is not in question; and b) the WSJ is correct when it suggested that the glitches and missed deadlines were associated with specific applications, not the fundamental operation of the software.
Following is Microsoft’s statement in full:
Microsoft TV, including its program guide, is the software solution that has been deployed in every FiOS TV market to date and is the solution Verizon continues to deploy today. In fact Verizon recently began deploying an upgrade of Microsoft TV that brings multi-room DVR functionality to their customers, making them one of the only TV service providers in the world to deliver this innovative capability to consumers today.
One of the advantages of Microsoft TV is that it enables service providers to develop their own applications on top of the platform and that is exactly what Verizon is doing. It’s always been part of the strategy. We’re proud of our progress with Verizon, which has the broadest deployment of pay-TV services of any U.S. RBOC today. The service is being well received by consumers and is now available in nearly 60 markets across seven states since launching in the second half of 2005.
Microsoft officials told the WSJ that the plan from the outset had been for Microsoft to reduce its staff devoted to the project while Verizon would be increasing its own.