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Microsoft in talks with Sky TV over content alliance

Microsoft in talks with Sky TV over content alliance

Microsoft NZ has “opened the conversation” with Sky TV on forming a commercial alliance with the broadcaster on delivering premium content over Microsoft’s devices in New Zealand.

Microsoft web development advisor Nigel Parker used footage of All Black rugby matches during a live demonstration of multiple Microsoft platforms at the opening keynote session a Microsoft’s Tech.Ed conference today. Attended by 2,500 developers, vendors, partners and users, this is the fifteenth year the conference has been held in New Zealand.

Parker demonstrated the use of Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing solution to retrieve Sky TV rugby footage and display it on Microsoft’s Surface — a kind of interactive tabletop. The video clips were then transferred onto a Windows 7 device (to be released later this year) mobile device. Parker had witnessed a similar demonstration in Australia using FOXTEL footage and approached Sky TV to participate in the demo for this year’s Auckland keynote.

He says there is no commercial deal between the two companies but that it “opens the door for conversations”.

Microsoft NZ managing director Paul Muckleston says it was the first time he had seen the demonstration. He says that opening up digital content while protecting intellectual property rights is a key challenge, especially as consumers now expect free, available content following the popularity of ubiquitous websites such as YouTube. He says that the Microsoft Surface device, which has a price tag of around $20,000, will be in New Zealand in the next month with deals currently being negotiated. He wouldn’t say what companies are interested locally, but says in Australia Microsoft Surface has been bought by casinos and airline lounges.

Read more on Computerworld.


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