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RIP, WebTV: Microsoft to shut down MSN TV on Sept. 30

The interactive TV service began life in the mid-'90s as WebTV, one of the first set-top box services to offer Internet access via television sets.

By July 7, 2013


CES: Steve Perlman is 'OnLive' (podcast)

OnLive founder Steve Perlman talks about what's new with his online gaming service and looks back to his other contributions, including WebTV and the Android operating system.

By January 9, 2011


Viera Cast first impressions: Panasonic's version of WebTV

Watch your latest YouTube creation, show the photo album of your latest trip to Thailand, and then check in to see how far your Yahoo stock has tanked--all without leaving your couch.

By June 19, 2008


New Microsoft set-top box ready to roll

MSN TV2 is the successor to the original WebTV device, the new box is a vast departure from its predecessors.

By September 24, 2004


Microsoft gives MSN TV a face-lift

Set-top box descendant of WebTV will be pitched at tech-savvy home networkers rather than tech neophytes.

By July 27, 2004


WebTV founder's next act unfolding

Demand for interactive TV has yet to meet industry expectations, but that isn't stopping Steve Perlman from gambling on the ill-defined and elusive market.

By January 2, 2002


Microsoft renames its WebTV service

Microsoft has renamed its struggling WebTV service MSN TV in a push to accelerate its integration with MSN's content and Internet services. WebTV offers television-based e-mail and Web-surfing services. The re-branded service will continue to provide both WebTV Classic and WebTV Plus subscribers with products such as MSN Messenger and MSN Hotmail, Microsoft's free instant messaging and e-mail services. With the launch of the software giant's UltimateTV in March, Microsoft hinted that the WebTV brand may have run its course. UltimateTV combines elements of WebTV with a DirecTV satellite service and digital video recorder technology. Microsoft acquired WebTV in 1997 for about $425 million.

July 18, 2001


Microsoft shifts WebTV oversight to Redmond

Confirming a long-running rumor, Microsoft says it is shifting management of its WebTV service to its MSN unit.

March 2, 2001


Offline tweak for WebTV

Microsoft?s WebTV Plus subscribers will soon be able to order products or get free information from interactive ads--when they aren't connect to the Internet. When the software upgrade becomes available in February, credit card information and the viewer?s address will be stored in the hard drive of their set-top box and orders will be placed when the television is off so that viewing isn't disrupted. This feature will also be available on Microsoft?s UltimateTV service.

By January 23, 2001


FTC, Microsoft settle claims over WebTV ads

The software giant has settled claims with the Federal Trade Commission that it deceptively advertised its product as capable of the same depth of Internet access as a PC.

October 25, 2000