Bill Gates: Get ready for IPTV

Since Wednesday night, when Microsoft Chairman &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Bill Gates started using the term IPTV during his keynote speech so casually you'd think we all knew what it was, it's become almost a catchphrase of the Consumer Electronics Show.

IP stands for Internet Protocol, the system by which data is sent over the Internet. And TV, of course, is television.

IPTV will use the Internet to deliver TV programming to your home in DVD-like quality. You'll get so much content that today's choices will seem anemic, wrote the Detroit Free Press.

According to the Seattle Post, &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Microsoft Corp. spent this week displaying technology to improve how people watch TV, access movies, listen to music, play video games, view photos, navigate their cars, use their watches and wake up in the morning.

But that dizzying array of consumer initiatives is also meant to improve something else -- Microsoft's own long-term growth prospects.

Thirty years after its founding, the software company best known for an operating system and a productivity suite is turning more and more to the flashy world of consumer electronics. The effort reflects pressure to continue posting strong revenue growth even as the company moves into corporate middle age.

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