In an effort to compete with rivals Apple’s iTunes and Adobe Systems, Microsoft has made deals with many large entertainment companies to use their television and movie content. The company has created partnerships with the Walt Disney Co., NBC Universal Inc., MGM and Showtime Networks. The content will be integrated into the MSN and Xbox Live online services, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The report says that the agreements stipulate that MGM, Showtime and Disney will be part of programming for Xbox Live for its entertainment content downloading feature. Xbox Live has a reported subscription of about 10 million users.
A separate deal was signed with NBC to manage a site for the 2008 Beijing Summer Games. MSN will run a site dedicated to the games that will contain 3,000 hours of video. Bill Gates was quoted to say “It’s going to let us illustrate why TV is going to be very different.”