Microsoft has spent billions building a TV business, a market it continues to go after with its Mediaroom IPTV software. But back in the dawn of Internet TV there was WebTV. It was a flashy service that combined television and Internet access. Microsoft was so wowed that it shelled out $425 million for the company in 1997.
Microsoft took bits of WebTV's technology and incorporated it into its other TV offerings. But WebTV endured for years, often because it was an easy way for technophobes to get e-mail. Microsoft rebranded the service as MSN TV in 2001. But the limited functionality, which served a purpose in the early days, rendered the product less relevant over the years. Microsoft phased out sales of the hardware in the mid-2000s.
March 16, 2011 4:00 AM PDT
Photo by: Microsoft
| Caption by: Jay Greene
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