Microsoft is reportedly in talks with big US media houses to launch its own Internet TV service to rival those of Google TV, Apple TV and other online streaming services.
According to sources cited by Reuters, the company is planning to launch the TV subscription service on its Xbox 360 games console and other devices.
Sources told the news agency that one of the options being considered by Microsoft is to offer a new TV service via its Xbox 360 console, which would act like a virtual cable operator. The new service would require users to pay a monthly fee to access channels like ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS, ESPN or CNN through the Xbox.
Another alternative being considered by Microsoft is that it could allow current cable subscribers to watch TV shows coupled with interactive features on the Xbox 360, such as in-programme instant messaging.
Microsoft could also offer individual channels through Xbox Live. It already offers Disney's ESPN, so similar deals might follow.