Microsoft is moving right along in its grab for a piece of the future demand for so-called "set-top boxes". Making another foray into television, Microsoft last week unveiled the Microsoft TV Platform Adaptation Kit (TVPAK), consisting of client software for use in TV-related devices in the household.
The product will be released later this year, according to a statement from Microsoft. The client software for set-top boxes, TVs and Internet terminals will be based on the Windows CE operating system.
The server software is built on Windows 2000 Server, Back Office products and technology from WebTV Network, a Microsoft company.
TVPAK is yet another push by Microsoft into the business of combining TV and Internet for entertainment and electronic-commerce purposes. During recent years the company has made heavy investments in order to establish a solid foothold in this area, far from its stronghold in Windows-based PCs.
In 1997, the software giant bought California-based WebTV, which offered services for cable operators, connecting televisions to the Internet via a set-top box. Then in May, it bought a $US5 billion stake in AT&T, the largest cable operator in the US.