Microsoft shelves voice-controlled Microsoft TV online subscription service over high licensing costs

“Microsoft Corp has put its talks with media companies about an online subscription service for TV shows and movies on hold, according to people familiar with the discussions,” Yinka Adegoke reports for Reuters.

“The technology giant had been in intense talks with potential programming partners for over a year and was hoping to roll out the service in the next few months,” Adegoke reports. “But it pulled back after deciding that the licensing costs were too high for the business model Microsoft envisaged, according to these people. ‘They built Microsoft TV, they demoed it for us, they asked for rate cards but then said ‘ooh ah, that’s expensive,” said one senior media executive who had been involved in the talks.”

“Early versions of Microsoft’s TV service included a range of advanced features such as being able to change channels with voice and motion control,” Adegoke reports. “Similar to Netflix Inc, Microsoft’s service also would have allowed users the option of paying a monthly fee for a package of programming from someone other than a local cable or satellite TV company. But unlike Netflix, Microsoft had hoped to offer current shows and live networks on its service, which made it a much higher cost proposition.”

Adegoke reports, “Microsoft is still working closely with the TV business to distribute shows over the Web, but rather than playing a role in helping consumers replace their cable TV packages it is focusing on delivering programming via its Xbox gaming system to existing cable subscribers.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. Just what the world needs, another half-baked craptastic Microsoft solution. (Remember PC Media Centers? – this is what MS thinks was hot, only for terminal nerds.) Why don’t these guys just give it up? They don’t have the stomach, corporate culture, intelligent visionary CEO or talent to pull it off. Just back away, GET away! I don’t wanna even HEAR what MS has to say or show (which usually ends up demoing like a lit explosive cigar in their faces.)

  2. Microsoft must have had too many problems with their idea. So, put it on ice and wait for Apple bring out a working model. Then copy, copy, copy!

    It is much cheaper and more reliable results.

  3. The problem Micro$hit was facing was they wanted to pay out minimal amount while making dumb sloths pay maximum, and realized based on what they could charge and what they had to pay, the profit margin doesn’t suit the 1980’s exec mentality of “profit” so they walked away.

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