SOFTWARE OUTFIT Microsoft has put its plans to launch an online video streaming service on hold.
The Redmond company, which harbours ambitions of becoming a content service provider much like Apple and Netflix, has been trying to set up its own video streaming service for well over a year. Now Reuters is reporting that the firm has shelved those plans following a less than enthusiastic response from the big media content studios.
According to Reuters, Microsoft deemed the media firms' content licensing rates too steep. "They built Microsoft TV, they demoed it for us, they asked for rate cards but then said 'ooh ah, that's expensive,'" a senior media executive said.
Microsoft's plan to launch a streaming video service follows in the wake of Netflix, which earlier this week launched in the United Kingdom. The major selling point of Microsoft's service would have been the ability to watch live television, which significantly increases the cost.
Although Microsoft has put its live video streaming ambitions on the back burner for now, it still wants to provide pre-recorded content over its popular Xbox Live network. Since cable networks do not view services such as Xbox Live as a threat to their main live television distribution business, companies such as Netflix and Microsoft can offer subscribers shows at reasonable prices.
Microsoft must be bitterly disappointed at not being able to stream live video entertainment content, as that would have one-upped its rivals Apple and Google. µ