Microsoft restructures Internet TV business

Ultimated

ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Microsoft Corp will axe around 160 positions in the latest round of restructuring to affect the company's lack-luster TV strategy.

UltimateTV, which offers TV-based digital video recording and web surfing, will be shifted to Microsoft's Redmond campus with one third of the unit's 500 staff who cannot be re-allocated axed.

A spokesperson for Microsoft said that the re-organization would "better align [UltimateTV] with our entertainment and television efforts". Up to 330 Ultimate TV staff will be re-allocated to MSN, Xbox and the Microsoft TV division in the move.

Microsoft last summer shifted control of WebTV - the basic internet-on-television service that preceded the year-old UltimateTV service - to its campus. The company acquired WebTV - subsequently re-branded MSN TV - in 1997, but has failed to gain more than one million subscribers. Microsoft insisted the UltimateTV service would still be available to customers.

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