A potentially interesting clash of old friends is brewing. Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft and over the last five years has bought a large number of cable companies that he amalgamated into Charter Communications, making it the fourth largest cable provider in the USA with around seven million customers.
He also has a company called digeo which has just announced with Motorola. their ‘broadband media center’. It’s comprehensively equipped with PVR, photo, music, games and telephony facilities. Using an interesting approach, it will initially be an add-on box that works with Motorola’s widely used DCT2000 set-top box, later moving to one box that performs all of the functions. I imagine it will have a period of exclusivity on Charter, then be sold into the large number of other cable companies that run on Motorola hardware – leading to a pretty formidable platform.
We await its launch in May with interest and look forward to the ensuring battle.