Web TV was among the earliest services to offer internet access through TV sets. It initially offered television-based email and web browsing by coupling internet access with wireless keyboards. Microsoft later branded it as MSN TV, but it became increasingly irrelevant in recent years. Now, the company has decided that it will stop the service for good on September 30.
Web TV was originally founded by Steve Perlman back in 1996. Soon after, Microsoft saw some potential in the business and acquired the company for a whopping $425 million in 1997. The company had some success with it, especially after Web TV was refashioned as MSN TV in 2001, bringing MSN Messenger, MSN Hotmail and a whole lot of other Microsoft services to users’ TVs.
However, in recent years, users have found many new ways to access internet. At the heart of modern web use are mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Naturally, in view of such progress, a service like MSN TV has little or no significance.
This is precisely why it makes sense for Microsoft to shutter it. According to the official statement released by the company, “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.”
It is important to note here that Microsoft has decided to push out MSN TV at a time when other vendors such as Apple are aggressively competing for the dominance in the set-top box arena.