Let The Set Top Wars Begin

Now that cablers won't pick one system, everyone's a player

Has Bill Gates been trumped? In May, he made a no-strings-attached $1 billion investment in Comcast Corp. to endorse the nation's partially upgraded cable networks as the best distribution vehicle for the digital age. Not promised but likely expected was Comcast's help in getting Microsoft Corp.'s operating system adopted by cable moguls as the standard for the next generation of digital set-top boxes. That's the device, much like a powerful computer, that will deliver all sorts of interactive services and features via TV.

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