With Joost barely off the ground, it looks like Microsoft is planning its own assault on the P2P TV market based on a recently registered trademark and patent (number 1176435). The logo has been accompanied by a patent description that reads uncannily like the Joost P2P service. The patent definition includes:
Computer software for providing video-on-demand services; downloadable films and TV programs provided via video-on-demand. Broadcasting services, providing video and television programming over broadband, cable, satellite and wireless networks; video-on-demand services via broadband networks. Provision of non-downloadable films and TV programs via a video-on-demand service; distribution of television shows, movies and videos for others.
The patent was registered in Australia and it’s clear from the different logo (pictured) that this has nothing to do with Microsoft TV. However, it’s my guess that they’ll either revamp Microsoft TV to include the new service or introduce it into the next version of Windows Media Player. It’s also worth remembering that Microsoft already provide Video on Demand via the Xbox Live Video Marketplace. Intriguingly, the patent also includes:
Transmitting personal photos, video and music over broadband, cable, satellite and wireless networks.
This suggests that unlike Joost, the new service will try to go beyond just P2P TV although unless it can offer something extra in terms of ultra fast uploading speeds or huge free storage capacities, I don’t see why people will abandon the hugely popular Flickr and Picassa photo sharing sites. However, Microsoft don’t seem to be in any rush to get this service off the ground and maybe they are waiting to see how Joost fares before taking the plunge themselves – by which time it might already be too late.