The future of digital TV set-top boxes may not involve Microsoft. At least that what a gang of DTV developers are pushing for. Twenty-four cable, satellite, and telecommunications tech companies have gotten together with the intention of producing Linux standards for the burgeoning STB industry. The TV Linux Alliance includes heavy hitters like ACTV, ATI, Broadcom, Concurrent Computer Corp., Conexant, Convergence Integrated Media, DIVA, Excite@Home, iSurfTV, Liberate Technologies, Lineo, MontaVista, Motorola, nCUBE, OpenTV, Pace Micro, Qpass, ReplayTV, STMicroelectronics, Sun Microsystems, TiVo, Trintech, TV Gateway and WorldGate. The organization says that using Linux for STBs will "improve time-to-market and product robustness in the advanced set-top box market." The Alliance intends to define a standard application programming interface (API) to simplify the implementation of TV middleware and device drivers for the Linux operating environment. In other words, they want to let network operators pick products from vendors without worrying about whether they will be compatible. Obviously, Microsoft is not on the list of members.
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