NOVA had an interesting segment on New York City’s "Domain Awareness" CCTV system last night and I thought it was an odd partnership. I wasn’t aware that Microsoft was in the CCTV arena. The core piece seems to be the central indexing of video feeds that are searchable by color, location, time, etc. Individually nothing particularly fancy, but the consolidation of all the NYC cameras into a single searchable system is interesting. It also seemed to be integrated into their 911 dispatch system. The NOVA segment was a bit vague on details and my initial searches didn't reveal much either (just the reposting & rehashing of various press releases).
Any chance IPVM could review and post their findings? Is Microsoft going to be a CCTV VMS player? Will their "Domain Awareness" system be made available to other entities (public or private)?
At the time I did this update, Microsoft was unwilling to speak directly to the offering, instead yielding all questions to IDV Solutions, a Michigan company who developed the interface. Microsoft's version to the NYPD included custom interfaces with other MS platforms, including .SQL databases and BING Maps. At the time, it was pretty limited on features. Video surveillance integration was primarily achieved through live-view web server integration only, and no VMS integrations were offered up.
In many ways, Microsoft's offering is just like other PSIM platforms: they are monetizing custom software integration. As far as new or novel, MS-DAS has a nice mapped-based interface, but is vulnerable to the same weaknesses of other PSIM platforms.
One detail I thought interesting was that NYPD negotiated something like a royalty payment on every future MS-DAS sale. This article reported: "The City will receive 30% on the profits Microsoft will make selling it to other cities, although Mayor Bloomberg declined to say if that money would go back into the NYPD. "
I (tried) to speak to Microsoft on a technical level several different times, in several venues, about this offering. Every time they deffered questions to 3rd party vendors. I got the strong impression Microsoft saw this primarily as a branding play rather than a pet project.
My opinion and conjecture= The IT world is infamous for "vaporware" products and I think Microsoft has had a few. Could they pull it off? Sure. Will they? Microsoft is suffering an innovation crisis that's been going on for awhile and problems executing. Big ideas are easy. Making then happen is something else.