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Microsoft To Put Canal Plus VOD Service In Xbox 360 Console & More

Microsoft is gradually pitching its Xbox 360 gaming console as the ideal media platform for the lounge as it announced yet another content deal, this time with Pay TV-by-satellite service Canal +, the equivalent in France of Sky.

The Redmond-base software giant signed the agreement after forging similar agreements with Netflix in the US and Sky in the UK and could potentially cross-pollinate the three territories and is set to sign similar deals in other territories.

Up to 3000 films on demand as well as popular TV shows such as les Guignols and French League One football games will be made available to the one million or so Xbox 360 users via Microsoft's Xbox Live online content service.

Most of those services will require a fast broadband access as they will be streamed live. The price as well as the exact release dates have yet to be disclosed. Users will also be able to interact in real time with other Xbox users over Xbox Live using avatars. The Microsoft service has more than 20 million members worldwide.

Interestingly, Activision Blizzard, which is also majority owned by Vivendi SA, the parent company of Canal +, produces a number of very popular games like Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk, Call of Duty, Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft to name a few.

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Our Comments

The Xbox 360 only lacks a proper Blu-ray player soon to become an all rounder entertainment unit. The agreement between Microsoft and Canal + also covered other platforms including desktop and mobile ones. Canal + is a very popular pay TV service in a number of French speaking countries as well including Canada and Mauritius.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.