×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Microsoft to Shut Down MSN TV Service

Software giant's service and set-top were based on WebTV startup it acquired in 1997

Microsoft will pull the plug on MSN TV, the service based on the early Internet-device startup WebTV it bought 16 years ago, effective Sept. 30.

It will surely surprise some that the Son of WebTV was still extant. In recent years, the company has focused on the Xbox videogame console as its connected-TV platform for delivering entertainment to the living room. Meanwhile, the Redmond giant had stopped actively marketing the MSN TV device and service, which ossified into an artifact from an earlier era.

In the mid-1990’s, WebTV created a device to provide web and email via dial-up modem to people who didn’t have a personal computer. Microsoft bought the startup in a deal worth $425 million before changing the name of the product to MSN TV. In 2004, the company launched MSN TV 2, which had a faster processor and enhanced features including broadband connectivity, but the service — and similar “Web-on-TV” concepts — never achieved significant traction.

In an FAQ explaining the shutdown, Microsoft said that “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. We are working with our customers to ensure the transition is as seamless as possible.”

MSN TV users will be able to continue to access their email through Microsoft’s Outlook.com website and can transfer photos to the company’s SkyDrive service.

Customers are free to keep the MSN TV set-top (as an objet d’art… or doorstop). For those who wish to discard it, Microsoft recommends using a local electronics recycler.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Doug Scott - Twitch

    Twitch Recruits Zynga's Doug Scott as Chief Marketing Officer

    Doug Scott is leaving as game company Zynga’s marketing boss to become Twitch’s CMO. Scott assumes the CMO role at Twitch after previous chief marketing officer Kate Jhaveri exited this summer to become the NBA’s top marketing exec. News of Scott’s hire comes less than a month after Twitch launched a redesigned logo and site, [...]

  • Carter Hansen - VidCon

    VidCon Hires Ex-AwesomenessTV Exec Carter Hansen to Head Conference Programming

    VidCon hired Carter Hansen, a founding executive at AwesomenessTV, as VP of programming to oversee conference programming and content for the internet-video events producer. In the newly created role, Hansen reports to VidCon GM Jim Louderback and will be based in Viacom’s Hollywood office. As part of overseeing programming worldwide for VidCon’s community, creator and [...]

  • The Boys Amazon Prime

    Nielsen Adds Amazon Prime Video to SVOD Measurement, With Limitations

    After two years of measuring Netflix viewing, Nielsen has now added Amazon Prime Video to the mix of subscription-streaming services it tracks — and with the same set of limitations. Nielsen’s SVOD Content Ratings originally launched in October 2017 with Netflix. According to the research firm, the addition of Amazon Prime Video measurement will let [...]

  • Gavel Court Placeholder

    Netflix Movie Scammer Admits to Defrauding Investors Out of $14 Million

    A California man has admitted to defrauding investment groups — nabbing $14 million — by falsely claiming the money would be used to produce a feature film for Netflix. On Oct. 18, Adam Joiner, 41, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in U.S. District Court, according to federal authorities. [...]

  • netflix debt

    Netflix to Raise Another $2 Billion Through Debt to Fund Massive Content Spending

    Netflix, burning boatloads of cash with a projected $15 billion content budget for 2019, is adding to its debt load once again. On Monday (Oct. 21), Netflix announced plans to offer approximately $2.0 billion aggregate principal amount of junk bonds, in both U.S dollar and euro denominations. As of Sept. 30, Netflix reported $12.43 billion [...]

  • Bristol, CT - July 26, 2018

    Mina Kimes Helps ESPN Kick Off 'Daily' Podcast

    Mina Kimes is preparing to take ESPN into a new frontier. The sports-media giant has launched a “SportsCenter” for Snapchat and tested baseball telecasts for kids. Now it’s hoping to set up shop in another media venue. Starting tomorrow, the Disney-backed company launches “ESPN Daily,” a weekday morning podcast that aims to tap its vast [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content