Apparently, Google's Web TV difficulties haven't discouraged Microsoft from pursuing a similar service. Citing two sources, Reuters
reports that the software giant has held talks with media companies to license TV networks for a new online pay-television subscription service through devices like its Xbox video game console. Microsoft's "possible push into the television business comes as Google Inc, Apple Inc and Netflix have jostled for a seat at the table of television's future," Reuters notes.
"The maker of the Windows operating system has proposed a range of possibilities in these early talks including creating a 'virtual cable operator' delivered over the Internet for which users pay a monthly fee." Another possibility, as Reuters reports, "includes using the Xbox to authenticate existing cable subscribers to watch shows with enhanced interactivity similar to how pay TV operators have sought to do over the Web." Microsoft is also considering creating content silos and selling more individual channels directly such as an HBO or Showtime.