Microsoft gives MSN TV a face-lift

Microsoft is getting ready to release a new version of its MSN TV set-top box, this one aimed at the Internet-savvy buyer rather than the technology neophyte.

Whereas the original WebTV and its successor, MSN TV, were targeted largely at older Americans who wanted a simple way to get e-mail, the upcoming device is tailored to networked homes that already have PCs and a broadband connection.

"Broadband is exploding. Home networking is taking off," Sam Klepper, general manager of MSN TV, said in an interview. "We felt this was an opportunity to expand our business into a new market."

The MSN TV 2 box is among a wave of new products that promise to shuttle audio and video content throughout the home. In a separate effort, Microsoft plans to introduce Media Center Extenders this fall, a family of set-top boxes designed to display TV shows stored on a Media Center PC in another room. Other companies, including start-ups such as Roku, are also getting in on the act.

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News source: c|net News.Com

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