Microsoft brings broadband connectivity, MSN TV to mobile customers

MUMBAI: Microsoft Corp. and KVH Industries, Inc. have inked a deal to bring the MSN TV service to consumers travelling in cars, trucks and boats in the US.

KVH's Mobile Internet Receiver with MSN TV service will provide in-motion access to web browsing, Microsoft Windows Media Player, MSN Mail and MSN Messenger, digital photo viewing, MSN Video, and MSN Radio with two-way connections made possible by broadband EVDO cellular services.

The result will be the first in-motion product to offer consumers easy-to-use, high-speed internet access on the television screens already installed in cars and other vehicles. KVH's Mobile Internet Receiver with MSN TV service will also include Wi-Fi output to provide Internet connectivity to a wide range of Wi-Fi-enabled products.

"Today's consumers expect to be able to stay connected while they're on the move in their vehicles. With the availability of MSN TV service on KVH's Mobile Internet Receiver, consumers will now be able to communicate, access information, and enjoy digital entertainment wherever their travels may take them," said Microsoft general manager for the MSN TV division Sam Klepper.

"There is clearly a demand for mobile access to live media ranging from satellite TV to broadband Internet With more than 20 million automobiles expected to be equipped with video screens by 2011 and color TVs as standard equipment aboard boats for many years, these screens provide an excellent platform not only for live satellite TV and gaming, but also for an integrated Internet solution. KVH looks forward to working with Microsoft on the Mobile Internet Receiver with MSN TV service that will leverage these screens and MSN TV technology to offer consumers an affordable, reliable source of two-way, in-motion Internet access," said KVH president and CEO Martin Kits van Heyningen.

Consumers will be able to enjoy in-motion connections to a variety of MSN communication, information and entertainment services. The high-speed connection, offered by an EVDO (Evolution Data Optimized) data modem that KVH is integrating into the Mobile Internet Receiver, will leverage existing broadband data services offered by several major cellular companies.

EVDO service is available in more than 170 markets nationwide, with new markets being added on an ongoing basis. By using EVDO services for connectivity along with built-in Wi-Fi output, the vehicle or vessel is turned into a "mobile hot spot." Passengers will be able to connect to other Internet services using Wi-Fi-enabled laptop computers, personal digital assistants and other devices using an Internet browser, e-mail application or instant messaging tool.

The pricing for the Mobile Internet Receiver with MSN TV service will be announced at a later date.

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