back to article Microsoft to switch off MSN TV

Microsoft will close MSN TV, a product that allows users to access the Internet on televisions. Redmond gave MSN TV to the world after its 1997 acquisition of Web TV Networks, an outfit that made it possible to hook up a TV to the Internet, usually through a dial-up modem. Microsoft wrote a $UD425m cheque to buy the company. …


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  1. Shagbag

    'didn't even know it was on.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    That's lame!!

    Now what will I use to download one song per week onto my Zune??

  3. Lamont Cranston

    Most of the "pros" of an internet-enabled TV

    (iPlayer, Netflix, local streaming) will already be included in the consumers' TV/Freeview box/DVD player/games console. If MS really want to put Metro on our TVs, so that we can wave our hands at them (is Minority Report still cool? Probably not), then they have the new X-Box, so I wouldn't expect MSN TV to get a direct replacement (unless MS really are as daft as everyone thinks).

  4. mark l 2 Silver badge

    "It's therefore hard to imagine Redmond doesn't have another TV idea up its sleeve."

    They already have something the Xbox360 have access to IE if you pay for a gold membership dunno about the xbox1 but i expect IE will be available for that too, and maybe for free as it did seem stupid to have to have gold membership to use a web browser when it comes free with Windows.

  5. LinkOfHyrule
    Paris Hilton

    I bet the people who have this thing don't care anymore anyway seeing as all their friends stopped emailing them when the Amstrad Em@iler phone went titsup they have no used for it anyway!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I prefer email! In fact, it's no loss to me if no one wants to use email to contact me!

      While others have been sucked in and become Zuckerbergs bitch, I will continue to resist social media.

      Real friends/Lose who really care can call/SMS/Email/IM me. Only fifty faced people care about social media!

  6. Mr Spock

    Ah... WebTV.

    Its subscribers made AOL users look positively intelligent...

  7. Lee D Silver badge

    $425m, 16 years ago.

    Makes you wonder how they made that money back.

    1. cyberdemon Silver badge

      Quite. It has to be a complete write-off, surely.

      In fact it's probably been losing money hand over fist for 16 years and only just now they have decided to write it off??

      Maybe Steve Ballmer's mother still uses it or something.

      1. jason 7

        Tax Loss?

        Isn't it handy within a large global corp to have a few loss making divisions to put against tax?

  8. jason 7

    I have a Slingbox.....

    ....collecting dust if anyone is interested....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I have a Slingbox.....

      Not exactly the same use-case, though.

      My Slingbox is working fine.

  9. Matthew 3

    Sad way to learn

    ...that this service existed by hearing of its demise. Seems to be happening a lot recently.

  10. david 12

    more information

    Be fun to read an interview with a remaining user if you could find one.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    16 years later, according to an FAQ posted about the closure, "the web has continued to evolve at a breathtaking pace, and there are many new ways to access the internet. Accordingly, we have made the difficult decision to end the MSN TV service on September 30th, 2013."

    Should actually say -

    the web has continued to evolve at a breathtaking pace, and Microsoft haven't

  12. tempemeaty

    The poor mans internet

    Sad to see MS kill it but then it would be to much to expect them to upgrade it. MS just doesn't have what it takes to make any product or service that might have to compete with others.

    More sadness, I once new a disabled person who could not afford a computer. It was the Web TV that gave him internet that he could afford.

    1. Pookietoo

      Re: could not afford a computer

      Raspberry Pi. Could even hitch a ride off a friendly neighbour's WiFi.

  13. IGnatius T Foobar

    The web via TV, not TV via the web

    Anyone who doesn't remember this service during its inception needs to remember something important: this isn't an Internet-enabled TV media player. It was a WEB BROWSER that ran on your TV. It isn't anything like Google TV, Apple TV, Slingbox, Roku, etc. There's no YouTube on this dinosaur. It's an outdated set top box that allowed grandma to surf the web and read email on the telly.

    I'm sure the dialup service itself has been outsourced for a long time now (it might have always been; providers such as Level3 offer wholesale access to global dial-in pools at a fraction of the cost of maintaining that kind of network yourself). The team at M$ who maintained the service was probably quite small. Still, it's surprising that they've limped the old dog along this long.

  14. Mage Silver badge

    It's not the Internet changes

    16 years ago a computer with modem took up a lot of space and cost much more than a TV and usually couldn't drive a TV. A laptop was about x2 price and 1/4 performance.

    Today a gadget with a web browser and screen built in might cost as little as 1/2 a TV. Also you don't need an over priced "smart" TV. A cheap netbook/laptop/tablet is usually more featured than a Smart TV and can drive HDMI on an HDTV. Often that + HDTV is cheaper than a Smart TV with no decent UI, you can even have the computer on your lap and cable to TV.

    So the product concept is dead. Even if it had Fibre.

  15. cortland


    -- image shows part of the outer rim of the 112-mile-wide Chicxulub (pronounced CHICK- soo-lube) --

    Chicks who WHAT?

    ("Incoming email; )

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