Microsoft has confirmed it is to invest $1 billion in Comcast, the fourth largest cable television operator, to help fund Comcast?s efforts to bring high-speed multimedia into millions of homes.
The software giant will gain a 12.5 per cent stake in Comcast, and will install Greg Maffei, Microsoft?s vice president of corporate development on the cable operator?s board to act as an ?observer?. Microsoft said Bill Gates ?will work closely with Brian Roberts, president of Comcast, regarding its strategic and technical direction?.
Comcast is working on how to overcome the bottleneck in delivering interactive services based on video, voice and data, to homes, schools and businesses, as well as work out how this integrates with the development of ?intelligent TVs? as access devices.
?Our investment will enable Comcast to make advances in developing a solution for the whole bandwidth issue,? said Anne Mitchard, Microsoft?s desktop systems marketing manager in the UK.
Gates said: ?Comcast?s integrated approach to cable distribution, programming and telecomms complements our vision of linking the PC and the TV. This announcement will enhance the integration of broadband pipes and content to expand the services offered to consumers.?
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