Microsoft is officially pulling the plug on its MSN TV service. The software giant acquired Web TV, the set-top box technology for $425 million in 1997 and rebranded as MSN TV in 2001.The pioneering service, one of the first to offer Internet access via television sets, will shut down 30th September.
Founded by entrepreneur Steve Perlman,the MSN TV enables users to share photos, check email and use the MSN chat programme via keyboard and remote control.
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. Subscribers were notified of the closure by an email and a post on the company’s website. 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.”
The move comes even as rival Apple is exploring ways of bringing more online content to TV sets through the Apple TV set-top box. I believe that although the MSN TV had become outdated due to advent of technology and internet, it did serve its purpose at that time. As for technology it keeps on changing and what we think today is new and happening will become old and boring after few years.