MS Cuts, Reorganizes UltimateTV

Microsoft is eliminating its UltimateTV interactive television (iTV) group and is eliminating a number of employees who worked in that division, a Silicon Valley newspaper reported Tuesday.

The San Jose Mercury News said that the company plans to cut more than 150 positions and will essentially eliminate the division, folding its functions into other parts of Microsoft. The division was based in Silicon Valley.

Microsoft has struggled to gain a foothold in the interactive television (iTV) market. Its primary efforts have been UltimateTV, which provides iTV services to subscribers of the DirectTV satellite service, and its Microsoft TV platform, which has received only limited acceptance among cable and satellite operators.

According to the Mercury News, 168 of the UltimateTV’s 500 employees will have three months to find other jobs within Microsoft or they will lose their employment. The remaining employees will be folded into other Microsoft divisions.

According to the newspaper, UltimateTV’s hardware group will be merged into the company’s Xbox group and its television services personnel will be moved into the MSN TV Services group. However, UltimateTV will continue to be offered to its DirecTV satellite subscribers.

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