Microsoft has agreed to sell Mediaroom, its IPTV business, to Ericsson, the companies announced today, and Microsoft said that going forward, the Xbox will be "100 percent of [the company's] focus" on television.
The sale is subject to approval from regulatory agencies, and is expected to be finalized during the second half of 2013.
"It [the sale] allows Microsoft to commit 100 percent of its focus on consumer TV strategy with Xbox," said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of marketing, strategy and business for Microsoft's Xbox division, in a blog post.
"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," Mehdi added. "We will partner with content creators, studios, labels, networks, content aggregators, operators and distributors to make this happen."
Polygon reported earlier this year that Microsoft's plans for the next Xbox may include a low-cost version of the console that functions as a cable box in addition to a gaming device. In February, Microsoft announced the formation of the Los Angeles-based Xbox Interactive Studios, a division built to create original programming in the form of scripted interactive content for the Xbox brand. The Verge reported today that Microsoft has pushed back its planned unveiling of the next Xbox to late May; the reveal event had been rumored to take place later this month.
Microsoft debuted Mediaroom in 2007, and built it into the world's leading IPTV — internet protocol television, or TV delivered over the internet — platform, with 11 million households using the service on 22 million set-top boxes worldwide. Mediaroom can be used to deliver TV content to a variety of devices, including set-top boxes, computers, Xbox 360s, tablets and smartphones. The platform is the foundation of services like AT&T's U-verse.
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