Microsoft Enters Plug-and-Play Debate


Entering another cable battle at the Federal Communications Commission,
Microsoft Corp. said the digital plug-and-play agreement between major cable and
consumer-electronics companies should ensure that PCs qualify as
"digital-cable-ready" devices.

Microsoft filed a paper with the FCC titled "The Role of the PC in
Entertainment." The documents discussed how the computer has transformed from an
office machine to a home device in the living room and kitchen for access to
music, photos, video programming and data.

In defense of the plug-and-play agreement, the National Cable &
Telecommunications Association told the FCC it does not "prohibit a PC with a
POD [point-of-deployment] slot and Internet connectivity -- provided that the PC
meets the compliance and robustness rules."

Microsoft is keeping busy on other issues at the FCC, including advocating
rules that would require cable and other high-speed-data providers to ensure
that consumers have unfettered access to all lawful Internet content and have
the right to attach devices that do no harm to the network.