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Microsoft launches video download service

Owners of handhelds using Windows Mobile will be able to download TV programs, other video content.

Microsoft on Wednesday launched its video download service for handheld devices that use Windows Mobile.

Owners of Portable Media Centers, smart phones and pocket computers will be able to download daily programs and other video content from, Food Network, Fox Sports, iFilm and other content providers, Microsoft said. The company had announced plans for the MSN Video Downloads service at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

Microsoft said about 20 content partners, including CinemaNow, MTV, Napster and TiVo, have agreed to make video formatted for devices using Windows Mobile since the launch of Portable Media Center last year.

"The launch of Portable Media Centers in 2004 began a new era of portable entertainment, and today's announcement solidifies the continued momentum we've seen for portable video," John Pollard, director of Windows mobile applications at Microsoft, said in a statement.

Microsoft said subscribers will be able to select content such as sports clips, news headlines and music videos from the MSN Video Downloads Web site. Some content can also be downloaded to PCs running Windows XP. The service is available in the United States for an annual subscription of $19.95. Some free content also be available without a paid membership.