The service was originally known as WebTV and was the brain child of Steve Perlman to whom Microsoft paid a whopping $503 million during the hay days of Web 1.0 in mid-1997. The service was rebranded the service as MSN TV by Microsoft in 2001 and went through a number of iterations over the years. Microsoft has used some of its technology in the Xbox.
The announcement on MSN TV website reads, “The MSN TV service will be closing on September 30, 2013.” Microsoft has a detailed closure FAQ in place explaining the reasons behind the closure. One such FAQ reads, “WebTV (later called MSN TV) started in 1996 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. Later, MSN TV 2 was released with vastly greater power and features. Since then, the web has continued to evolve at a breathtaking pace, and there are many new ways to access the internet. Accordingly, we have made the difficult decision to end the MSN TV service on September 30th, 2013. We are working with our customers to ensure the transition is as seamless as possible.”
A detailed email has also been sent out to users. The first few lines of the email are, “For the past decade, we have been excited to build products that provided our customers with easy access to the Internet on TV. Unfortunately, all good things must eventually come to an end. Today we are announcing that we will be closing the MSN TV service. The last day of the MSN TV service will be September 30, 2013.”