Netflix coming to Windows Media Center

Netflix continues to make its streaming service available on a host of devices. Windows Media partnership potentially means millions of new users.

Greg Sandoval Former Staff writer
Greg Sandoval covers media and digital entertainment for CNET News. Based in New York, Sandoval is a former reporter for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. E-mail Greg, or follow him on Twitter at @sandoCNET.
Greg Sandoval
2 min read
Netflix's streaming service will appear on Windows Media Center within the next couple of days. Microsoft

Microsoft has struck a deal to bring Netflix's streaming movie service to Windows Media Center, the companies said Tuesday.

Netflix's more than 12,000 "Watch it now" movies and TV episodes are only available to users of Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate. XP users won't be able to access the service.

Owners of Windows Media Center will also be able to search the entire Netflix library, manage their DVD queues, and "filter searches by titles that are available to watch instantly," Microsoft said in a statement.

Microsoft continues to try to boost the amount of content available on Windows Media. In March, the company launched a new sports channel, including replays of the past NCAA basketball tournament.

"We're building on our broader vision to alleviate the need to jump from Web site to Web site to find TV shows, movies, sports and news," Microsoft said in a statement. " "With Windows Media Center, (users) can now find it in one place."

For Netflix, the partnership offers the Web's No.1 video rental service the chance to reach scores of of Vista users. Netflix's deal with Microsoft's Xbox videogame console proved to be a boon for the company.

Netflix has steadily been crossing the once wide chasm between the PC and the television by striking partnership deals with a wide assortment of set-top box makers, including Roku, and LG.

To access Netflix's service, Windows Media Center owners must first subscribe to the rental service. Then, to stream movies, they can start Windows Media Center on their computers by selecting the new Netflix tile under TV+Movies heading.