Every once in a while an announcement comes out of the world of AV that just knocks you back. Such was the case this past Friday when InfoComm International announced their newest Platinum Sponsor for InfoComm 2014; Microsoft.
The announcement came as we were getting ready to record AVWeek Episode 125. Joe Andrulis from AMX, George Tucker from World Stage, and Adrian Boyd from Avitecture were on the show and offered their insights on what this move means. In addition, Twitter and the AV world were alive with speculation.
Microsoft obviously has a number of products and services it could promote to the AV world by exhibiting at InfoComm this year. The Xbox One is positioned to be the center of the home experience for those who install it. It has gaming and streaming capabilities and can be used as an enhanced cable television interface. In addition, the Kinect and Skype integration makes the Xbox One a home-based video conferencing device. However, this is primarily a residential AV product.
Then you get to their Lync product; a soft codec unified communication product. Companies like Vaddio and others have hardware that makes Microsfot Lync into a pro AV presentation. In addition, Crestron is a partner with Microsoft, so they may have some interesting announcements.
Regardless of what you think the main thrust of Microsoft’s InfoComm show exhibits will be, it is another step in the confluence between AV and IT. In addition, it’s a great feather in the cap of InfoComm International to land such a major player in the mainstream as Microsoft. Nothing against Crestron, AMX, Vaddio, or Aurora Multimedia, but when you talk to people who work outside of AV about these companies, most have never heard of them. You mention Cisco, Samsung, Sony, or Microsoft, you have an immediate connection with those you are talking to. This is a good thing if we are to grow the industry and incorporate fresh, new faces. It’s an exciting time to be in the AV industry and it will be very exciting to see what the group from Redmond, WA bring to the Las Vegas floor.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Have a great week.