Microsoft Corp. 's MSN service has inked a deal to offer a customized version of the CinemaNow Internet-based video-on-demand service.
The agreement "will provide millions of our users with a quick and simple way to access their favorite movies," said MSN Product Manager Christine Andrews.
CinemaNow has content partnerships with studios such as 20th Century Fox, Disney, Lions Gate, MGM, Miramax and Warner Bros.
Although Microsoft initially will offer CinemaNow to PC users, it's more than likely that Microsoft is using such deals to position itself to offer high-end content to television screens via a broadband-enabled set-top it is building in partnership with Thomson. That box, which will run a home-networked version of the MSN TV service, is slated to hit retail for the 2004 holiday shopping season.