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Can I Still Get WebTV?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (July 9, 2013) - Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to

Q. My Mom is not very familiar with computers and I was thinking of getting the old WebTV for her because it's so easy to use. Is it still in business? -- Yardley, Baltimore, Maryland.

Yardley, for years, consumers who were not very tech-savvy purchased WebTV set-tops which connected to your TV and enabled you to easily get your email and surf web sites. However, I have bad news for you. Microsoft has just announced that WebTV, now known as MSN TV, is finally coming to an end.

Yes, WebTV, which was launched in 1996, will be no more on September 30, Microsoft says. At its web site, the company says it's discontinuing service because there are now so "many new ways to access the Internet."

And that's hard to argue with. When WebTV was first launched by three Silicon Valley entrepreneurs in 1996, computers were a bit more complicated and such things as tablets and smart phones didn't exist. WebTV, which was sold to Microsoft in 1997 for $400 million, served a valuable need, particularly for older Americans who were intimidated by technology.

Microsoft is urging current WebTV users to save photos that have been stored on their WebTV boxes to the company 'Shared Photos' storage service in the cloud.

Microsoft says WebTV owners will be able to get their WebTV emails on and the company is also offering special deals for them to switch from their current Internet plans to Net services on a computer.

If you are a WebTV (MSN TV) owner, click here for more information on how to switch from WebTV services to computer services.

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