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Thursday, March 31, 2005
Microsoft releases portable TV service

Microsoft has launched a service that lets people download certain TV shows to portable devices such as media players and advanced cell phones.

With the new service, MSN Video Downloads, customers will have access to more content ? sports highlights and some shows from Fox Sports, news and business headlines from and children's programming from Cookie Jar Entertainment.

Since the launch of the Microsoft Windows Mobile-based Portable Media Center last fall, more than 20 new content partners, including CinemaNow Inc.,,, MSN Music, MTV Networks Music, Napster Inc., SnapStream Media Inc. and TiVo Inc., have agreed to make video available online specifically formatted for Windows Mobile-based multimedia devices.

"Readily available digital video content remains a key driver for the portable multimedia player market," said Josh Martin, associate research analyst at IDC. "The proliferation and growth of video service providers will serve to fill the existing video content void and increase adoption of portable multimedia players such as Windows Mobile-based devices."

Users simply log onto a Web site using a traditional laptop or desktop computer. They can download the shows and transfer them to portables.

The service marks Microsoft's latest effort to get people interested in Portable Media Centers and other devices that use its Windows Media Player technology for watching movies and listening to music.

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