Microsoft hasn't buried its old TV ambitions, but has instead revamped the whole concept into something that it calls as IPTV. Company's idea is to provide a service for telecom companies where they could offer their DSL (and other types of broadband services, naturally, even though cable companies aren't probably too interested of the concept..) subscribers a set-top box that would connect to their TVs and broadband Net connection instead of traditional cable network, and stream TV content over the IP networks.
Microsoft just announced a deal with Telecom Italy to run trials of the IPTV in Italy to selected group of Telecom Italy's customers. Thomson has developed the set-top boxes used in the service and will start distributing the units under two of its brand names -- Thomson and RCA. Boxes support variety of video codecs, including the traditional MPEG-2 alongside with Microsoft's own WMV9 and MPEG-4 (advanced profile and H-264).