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September 27, 2007

TV Watching: Lean In Or Lean Back?

Microsoft is apparently announcing today that the company will be releasing a new internet TV system for free for Windows Vista Home Premium and Vista Ultimate Editions. The system will include over 100 hours of content from programming also found on MSN and can be hooked up via your Xbox or the new Media Center Extender device. Windows users should receive the software update this week that will allow for full-screen viewing on your computer and clear picture.

Microsoft's aim with this release is to gain more insight into whether TV watchers' would rather lay back on the couch while watching TV or lean in towards their computer screen. The company's focus will be on longer viewing periods. I would like to know how much money Microsoft is spending on the project because I think the answer would be fairly obvious judging by the failure of so many web TV startups in the past couple of years.

Personally I think this is more of an examination of viewer behavior in advertising interaction. The company YuMe has been put in charge of selling and programming advertising across the system. For 6 months the ad company out of Redwood City, California, will compare user interaction and engagement levels with the videos on all of the devices and see if a difference is made when users hook up the system through their Xbox. It seems like a lot of work to me, especially because I don't believe Microsoft will have to much success moving into online advertising. Stick to the operating systems Microsoft!

Via New York Times

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Posted by Justin Davey at September 27, 2007 11:23 AM

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