WebTV changes name to MSNTV

Cyberbiz brief

So long WebTV. Microsoft, which introduced the struggling interactive TV service to consumers with much hype in 1996, is expected to replace the troubled moniker with the name MSNTV in the coming months.

The move won’t be much of a surprise once it happens. Not only is the new team that works on WebTV called MSNTV, Microsoft’s chief financial officer John Connors referred to the unit as MSNTV at a recent investment conference. Microsoft handed management of WebTV to popular online service MSN earlier this year.

With WebTV boxes failing to attract more than 1 million subscribers to the service that enables users to surf the Internet and check e-mail, Microsoft has instead set its sights on pushing its new UltimateTV offering, a set-top box that includes a 30-hour TiVo-like digital video recorder and connection to the Internet.

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