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Last Updated: Monday, 9 June, 2003, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
Microsoft moves in on cable TV
Bill Gates at a Microsoft event
Microsoft has had a difficult time with cable TV
Microsoft is planning to sell new software to cable TV companies in an effort to gain a stronger foothold in the industry.

The company unveiled the software at an annual US cable industry meeting on Monday.

The new package, called Microsoft TV Foundation, is designed to make it easier for cable customers to access videos and other services on demand.

"This is a big milestone for Microsoft TV," said Ed Graczyk, marketing director of the group's TV division.

"We're hoping this is an announcement that gets the industry excited."


This is not the first time Microsoft has tried to make an impact in cable TV.

It invested $5bn (3bn) in AT&T Broadband in 1999 and was planning to install its software in AT&T's next-generation cable boxes.

But after a trial, AT&T decided not to use the system, mainly because of the cost.

Microsoft said its new software tools were designed to run on lower-priced cable boxes.

They could also eventually run on set-top boxes manufactured by different companies, which is not possible today.

Microsoft had a rough start working with the cable industry, according to Sean Badding, an analyst at Carmel Group.

"There's no question Microsoft wants to become the standard in the industry," he said.

"They want to dominate the cable industry."

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