REDMOND CONGLOMERATE Microsoft is selling its IPTV business Mediaroom to Ericsson so that it can focus on its Xbox games console.
The firm said that Mediaroom has had its day under Microsoft and deserves to go off and prosper somewhere else. That somewhere else is Ericsson.
"This acquisition is mutually beneficial and strategically aligned for both parties," Yusuf Mehdi, VP for marketing, strategy and business in Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business wrote in a Technet blog post.
"Ericsson will continue to invest in the growth and success of Mediaroom to the benefit of customers, employees and the industry. It allows Microsoft to commit 100 percent of its focus on consumer TV strategy with Xbox."
According to Mehdi, Mediaroom powers 22 million television set-top boxes and pulls its weight in the pay TV market. However, parting with the division will let Microsoft put all of its television efforts into the Xbox, and from the sounds of it, kick a little vigour back into development.
"With the sale of Mediaroom, Microsoft is dedicating all TV resources to Xbox in a continued mission to make it the premium entertainment service that delivers all the games and entertainment consumers want - whether on a console, phone, PC or tablet," he said.
"And with 76 million Xbox 360 consoles around the world with 46 million Xbox LIVE members, it is a mission that gets us out of bed in the morning."
Mehdi said that Microsoft will not be able to do this alone and will partner with industry to "deliver the next wave of innovation in games and consumer entertainment".
Microsoft hasn't yet, but is due to announce the next version of its games console, the Xbox 720 soon.
Neither Ericsson or Microsoft is talking about the cost of the acquisition, but the former did say that it would load Mediaroom into its Business Unit Support Solutions (BUSS) group.
In a breathless press release it lauded Mediaroom, and spoke of how it expects to ride off on the back of Microsoft's hard work and into millions of homes.
"Ericsson's vision of the Networked Society foresees 50 billion devices to be connected via broadband, mobility and cloud. Future video distribution will have a similar impact on consumer behavior and consumption as mobile voice has had," said Per Borgklint, senior VP and head of BUSS at Ericsson.
"This acquisition contributes to a leading position for Ericsson with more than 40 customers, serving over 11 million subscriber households. In addition, Ericsson will be powered with senior competence and some of the most talented people within the field of IPTV distribution." µ