Microsoft announced a slate of prominent technology companies who now explicitly support its Microsoft TV Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) Edition software platform.

One of the concerns of IPTV service providers is that the universe of suppliers is still fairly confined – it’s the stated rationale for AT&T, Telecom Italia (both customers of Microsoft), and others to form the IPTV Forum.

Microsoft, inexplicably not part of that forum, seems to be addressing that concern directly with the announcement of the following partners:

AMD and Intel provide leading chipset solutions for server and storage infrastructures for the IPTV Edition ecosystem.

Standard definition encoders from Thomson’s Grass Valley group support the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 standard used in IPTV Edition. Thomson and Microsoft have worked together before, assuring interoperability of Thomson set-tops with Microsoft TV’s IPTV software.

Pirelli Broadband Solutions will provide set-top boxes supporting Microsoft TV IPTV Edition. Pirelli had been providing routers to Telecom Italia, but not STBs.

Sun Microsystems' Sun Fire x64 servers are the newest carrier-class servers to have been tested against the high-performance IPTV platforms from Microsoft.

Companies which have previously integrated with Microsoft TV IPTV software include systems integrator and infrastructure provider Alcatel-Lucent; set-top box manufacturers Cisco Systems Inc. (Scientific Atlanta, a Cisco company), Motorola Inc., Philips and Tatung Co.; chip manufacturers Sigma Design Inc. and STMicroelectronics; server solution providers HP and IBM Corp.; and encoder providers Cisco Systems (Scientific Atlanta, a Cisco company), Harmonic Inc., Motorola and Tandberg Television.