Microsoft is pulling the plug on MSN TV, a service formerly known as WebTV, as Apple ramps up its set-top box efforts.
The pioneering service, one of the first to offer Internet access via television sets, will shut down September 30, Microsoft revealed in an e-mail to subscribers and an FAQ posted to its Web site. WebTV, which was founded by Web entrepreneur Steve Perlman in 1996, was acquired by Microsoft for $425 million in 1997.
WebTV offered television-based e-mail and Web browsing via wireless keyboards but struggled to gain traction with consumers. Microsoft rebranded the service as MSN TV in 2001 to accelerate integration with products such as MSN Messenger and MSN Hotmail.
The software giant even offered the interactive service for free to new MSN online service, but it has largely taken a backseat to the company's focus on the Xbox game console, which also offers Internet access.
Full Story - http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57592561-75/rip-webtv-microsoft-to-shut-down-msn-tv-on-sept-30/
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