Microsoft sets sail with high-seas Net access

Seafaring Web surfers can stay connected 25 miles from land thanks to a partnership struck with antenna maker KVH Industries.

Just the thing for the ideal boating experience? High-speed Internet access.

As part of Microsoft's attempt to make the Web omnipresent, the company announced a new service Thursday that will connect boaters to the Internet. Seafaring Web surfers can stay connected 25 miles from land thanks to a partnership struck between Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft and antenna maker KVH Industries.

KVH's Mobile Internet Receiver will connect users of MSN TV service, a customized version of the MSN TV 2 Internet and Media Player, to the Web. Under the plan, customers can access Microsoft Windows Media player, MSN Mail, MSN Messenger and MSN Radio, to name just a few applications.

"Today's consumers expect to be able to stay connected while they're on the go in their vessels," Sam Klepper, MSN TV's general manager, said in a statement. "Consumers will now be able to communicate, access information and enjoy digital entertainment where their travels take them."

The service was configured to allow people to use it on televisions, since most boats over 25-feet are already equipped with color TVs.

Microsoft also offers a wireless keyboard so they can log on anywhere from stern to starboard.

"KVH's Mobile Internet Receiver with MSN TV service will also include WiFi output to provide Internet connectivity to any WiFi-enabled laptop or other product," the companies said in a statement.

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