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Monday, November 29, 2010
Microsoft Could Finally Offer TV Service

Microsoft has been talking about Internet TV plans for more than ten years now. This time the idea may be closer to reality as the company is reportedly in talks with media companies in order to offer content through an online a pay-TV subscription service.

Citing two people familiar with Microsoft's plans, Reuters today reported that Microsoft has held talks with media companies to license TV networks for a new online pay-television subscription service through devices such as its Xbox video game console.

The software giant's possible push into the television business comes as Google, Apple Inc and Netflix have jostled for a seat at the table of television's future.

Microsoft is also exploring the possibility of creating content silos and selling more individual channels directly such as an HBO or Showtime. It already has Walt Disney Co's ESPN on the XBox Live online service for example.

Reuters' sources added that a service may not arrive for another 12 months.

Microsoft has long held ambitions to be a major player in the TV business and has previously invested in interactive television initiatives including Web TV and MSN TV set-top box software.

Google has already launched Google TV, a Web-TV service with partners including Sony televisions and Logitech set-top boxes.

Apple has also begun to offer 99-cent TV show rentals for a limited number shows through News Corp's Fox and Disney.

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