TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO) has already released TiVoToGo for viewing on Windows-based laptops, but today it upped the ante on excitement by revealing that the service will now be available on more mobile devices that run Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) software and by announcing a promotional summer giveaway. The news is just another extension of previous initiatives, and that's likely why some members of our TiVo discussion board mused over whether this should be considered newsworthy and relevant, with the stock up 5% on a recent check.

Back when Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick TiVo first announced TiVoToGo, it was clear that it would run its service on Microsoft-based machines. (Still wondering, when will my TiVo be able "to go" with my Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iBook? Anyway ... ) Today's word seems to basically mean that programming recorded with TiVo will be able to play back over small portable devices like Microsoft's Portable Media Centers, Smartphones, and PocketPCs -- and contains more than a small amount of media blitz for a slow news day to boot.

When we first discussed TiVoToGo, it was clear that this was another TiVo attempt to build a moat around itself and differentiate itself from its many generic competitors. With the popularity of downloadable content, particularly music (see: iPods), many have surmised that video -- particularly video over smartphones -- is the next frontier. Some have even wondered whether Apple was going to try to leverage video for iTunes.

On the other hand, I don't see much proof so far that people are all that enamored of video content on portable devices, which are usually most useful when you're doing something else. Therefore, there may very well be a good argument that video transmission over media centers and smartphones will never quite take off like the musical counterpart has. On the other hand, The Wall Street Journal reported today that demand for TiVoToGo has far exceeded TiVo's expectations, with 280,000 customers having downloaded the software as of the middle of last month.

Back to today's fanfare, which includes a TiVo promotion that involves giveaways of TiVo boxes and Microsoft Portable Media Centers, and some other promotional events from TiVo, Microsoft, and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC). The release also contains a big emphasis on the summer travel season -- true, for passengers on road trips there is a certain appeal to having portable TV content, but whether that's compelling enough for mass consumption remains to be seen.

As investors, we are all very interested not only in what has happened, and what is happening now, but also in what will happen. I'm not discounting the idea that TiVoToGo might help TiVo to go more places . however, whether the stock should have benefited today, given continued challenges and a lack of clarity for the portable video market, is a whole different story.

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Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned, although she is a happy TiVo customer.