Microsoft has launched a video download service for its US customers. The service offers daily television programming, entertainment clips and other digital content for viewing on Windows Mobile-based devices.
The MSN Video Downloads service draws on content from Microsoft partners such as CinemaNow, MSNBC.com and TiVo, allowing subscribers to watch video on their smart phones, Pocket PCs and Portable Media Centers.
The service was previewed in January at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, showing how users can download specially formatted content to their PCs and then transfer it to devices running Windows Mobile software. For the final launch the service has been updated to allow subscribers to select specific content to be downloaded each day, Microsoft said. Users can also turn on an automatic deleting feature that vets files according to how long they have been stored on their PCs, it added.
The software maker has lined up numerous content partners to make video available online and optimized for Windows Mobile-based devices to strengthen the appeal of its mobile software. The Food Network, the DIY Network, Home & Garden Television, Fox Sports and MTV Networks Music are just some of the content providers on hand.
In addition to smart phones and Pocket PCs based on Windows Mobile, a handful of manufactures have signed up to make Portable Media Center devices using the company's mobile software. Apple CEO Steve Jobs, on the other hand, maintains that there is no market for portable media, claiming that people do not want to watch movies on the move.
The service is currently being offered only in the US. It costs $19.95 for one year, although some content is available for free.