Microsoft Launches Windows Live Messenger TV In Europe - InformationWeek

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Microsoft Launches Windows Live Messenger TV In Europe

Messenger TV lets a user embed content from MSN Video into their IM's for simultaneous viewing with whomever they're chatting with.

Microsoft on Monday added to its Windows Live Messenger instant messaging service a feature that lets users watch and share videos while they chat online.

The feature, called Messenger TV, lets the user embed content from MSN Video, which is Redmond's answer to YouTube, into their IMs for simultaneous viewing with whomever they're chatting with.

"Watching online video is no longer about one person in front of their computer," Microsoft said in a marketing bulletin about Messenger TV.

Messenger TV is available across the United Kingdom and most parts of Europe, but is not yet on offer in the U.S., according to Microsoft.

To fire up Messenger TV, users need to start a regular chat session with a friend via Windows Live Messenger, then launch Messenger TV from the list of activities within Messenger. A list of available content from MSN Video will appear, from which a playlist can be created.

In addition to content from MSN Video, U.K. users will also be able to tap television shows and music videos from third parties. Microsoft said it has struck content partnerships with EMI and the UK's Channel 4 to obtain videos from popular performers such as Kylie Minogue and Robbie Williams and hit shows like Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares.

Additional content partners include National Geographic, Reuters, and the ITN network.

Microsoft claims that Windows Live Messenger is the world's most popular free instant messaging service, with more than 240 million users worldwide.

Microsoft needs to build its Internet properties if it's to catch Google, which dominates the market for online search advertising. Following a failed attempt to buy Yahoo, it's expected that Microsoft will focus on expanding its existing portfolio of in-house platforms, including Messenger.

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