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Microsoft Puts Web TV Subscription Work On Hold

Felix Kemp
Microsoft, Microsoft TV, TV, Xbox 360, Xbox Live

Microsoft Puts Web TV Subscription Work On Hold

Scared Off By Licensing Costs?

Last week, rumours emerged that Microsoft was planning a DVR-esque device to be integrated in to future Xbox consoles. Work on the project had split off from previous work inside Microsoft on a patented set-top box where the company could deliver television and films to customers. Well, it appears they instead turned their attention to an online model not dissimilar to Netflix, until Microsoft was presented with the licensing costs for such an endeavor, which appears to have put a spanner in the works.

"They built Microsoft TV, they demoed it for us, they asked for rate cards but then said 'ooh ah, that's expensive,'" reveals a senior media executive who advised Microsoft in talks with third-parties who would assist in licensing and supplying TV and films via a web TV application Microsoft was designing.

The service was compared to Netflix, where you can subscribe to a premium monthly membership. However, along with film and backdated television shows, Microsoft was interested in pairing their application with current shows and live networks, although this appears to be the cause of such lofty licensing fees that frightened a multi-billion dollar company.

"It doesn't mean they won't be back in another iteration," the anonymous media executive states, confirming that Microsoft instead opted to funnel existing services such as Netflix, Sky TV and the like through their home console application, the Xbox 360, which has enjoyed moderate success. "We'll have to wait and see," he added. [Reuters]

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