Microsoft’s Media/Entertainment & Technology Convergence Group

No-one could have predicted that Microsoft would evolve from selling DOS to being a company whose technologies shape many of the industries around us. Microsoft’s media products such as its Windows Media 9 platform are used throughout the media and entertainment industries from authoring, distribution and viewing. As the company’s relationship with the media and entertainment industries has grown very complex indeed, Microsoft have created a group to manage and develop these alliances: the Media/Entertainment & Technology Convergence Group.

The group aims to drive the company’s strategies for the digital convergence of home entertainment technologies, personal computing and media with a focus on market development, policy and standards.

The former chairman of the Universal Television & Networks Group, Blair Westlake, will join Microsoft and be the group’s new vice president.

“The creation of the Media/Entertainment & Technology Convergence Group and Blair Westlake’s appointment underscore Microsoft’s strong commitment to delivering cutting-edge products for the digital networked home and continuing to build mutually productive and profitable relationships with the media and entertainment industries,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft.

Microsoft on the new group

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?