Title: Director of content programs for the Microsoft TV Platform Group at Microsoft Corp.
Background: Before assuming his current position in September, Mr. Witus was director of business development for eBooks at Microsoft.
Content developer program: “One [of our goals] is to be the vehicle for the content community to express that we’re serious, we’re well-informed, and we’re in it for the long haul in terms of our efforts to generate compelling and profitable programming for the Microsoft TV platform. So we’re doing this by providing a steady stream of good technical, business and marketing information to the members of the program. The second part of the mission is to engage this community in terms of the opportunities they can take on now and the ones they’ll have in the future in terms of creating content and programming for interactive TV .”
Content builder initiative: “It’s for program members who are already very well-versed in interactive TV. The idea was to give them a higher level of touch, more information about what we’re doing as far as hands-on technical support for developing very specific projects that will show what their brands can do and what their programming can do when it becomes interactive and also showcase the Microsoft TV platform in the process. We’re hoping that by [the National Cable & Telecommunications Association conference] we’ll have at least half a dozen good examples of the types of things that are coming out of it.”
Challenges: “The standards issue is a fairly major challenge. The other thing is not so much the appetite of the viewer … it’s the appetite of other companies in the business for the additional infrastructure costs that go along with making their systems two-way. … We’re trying to make it easier for them and also prove the revenue opportunity in terms of the long-term value and appeal.”