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Microsoft killing off obsolete MSN TV service in September

Microsoft has opted to shut down MSN TV at the end of September this year.

The subscription-based service was one of the first to allow Internet access through the TV, enabling users to browse the web, access emails, use Messenger and share photos online.

MSN TV started "with the goal to bring new people 'online' and to give those already online an easy, hassle-free means of accessing the internet from the comfort of their homes," according to a post on the MSN TV (opens in new tab) website.

Microsoft believes MSN's TV mission is now accomplished.

"The web has continued to evolve at a breathtaking pace, and there are many new ways to access the internet," the post continues. "Accordingly, we have made the difficult decision to end the MSN TV service on September 30th, 2013."

The service, originally called WebTV, was founded by Steve Perlman in 1996, before being bought by Microsoft for $425 million (£285 million). It was rebranded by Microsoft in 2001.

The box, which came with a remote control and a keyboard, never really caught on as much as Microsoft hoped it would, partly because of a general lack of demand for an Internet TV platform at the time.

More recent advancements in technology have rendered the service obsolete and almost completely forgotten.

However, the technology of MSN TV has been absorbed into Microsoft's forthcoming Xbox One console, which will debut in November (opens in new tab).

Microsoft advises current users to transfer their MSN TV data to SkyDrive in order to avoid losing it.

Aatif is a freelance copywriter and journalist based in the UK. He’s written about technology, science and politics for publications including Gizmodo, The Independent, Trusted Reviews, Newsweek, and ITProPortal.