Microsoft and Netflix Enhance Movie and TV Watching on the PC

Latest content addition offers more than 12,000 choices
of movies and TV episodes that can be watched instantly on a PC with Windows.

REDMOND, Wash. — May
19, 2009 —
Microsoft Corp. today announced that more than 12,000 movies and
TV episodes from Netflix Inc., the world’s largest online movie rental service,
are now available to watch instantly on the PC using Windows Media Center on
PCs with Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate. This newest content addition
builds on Microsoft’s goal to create a consistent experience on the PC for
consumers to easily enjoy the entertainment of greatest interest to them.

With Windows Media Center, consumers no longer need to jump
from Web site to Web site to find the TV shows, movies, sports and news they
want to watch. Windows Vista customers who are also Netflix members can simply
start Windows Media Center on their PC and then select the new Netflix tile
under TV+Movies to begin streaming movies and TV episodes instantly. People can
also search the entire Netflix library, manage both their instant and DVD
Queues, and even filter searches by titles that are available to watch
instantly. Windows Media Center takes advantage of the Netflix recommended
category lists to make it even easier to quickly find the movies and TV shows
that consumers want to watch. Conveniently, Netflix in Windows Media Center is
also designed to work with any Windows Media Center-compatible remote control.

The availability of Netflix in Windows Media Center marks
the second recent content milestone for Windows, following the March 2009
launch of the Sports Channel, which offers a variety of interactive sports
content from, FOX Sports, and more.

“Netflix is excited that the majority of the Windows Vista
users in the U.S. can now access a vast array of movies and TV episodes from
Netflix through Windows Media Center,” said Steve Swasey, vice president of
corporate communications. “There’s no better way to enjoy movies than with
Netflix, and this latest offering is another milestone that gives Windows Media
Center customers a great experience using the Netflix service.”

The Netflix instant watching in Windows Media Center is
powered by Microsoft Silverlight, one of the industry’s most comprehensive and
powerful solutions for the creation and delivery of applications and media
experiences. The use of Silverlight means that customers will have more
accessible, more discoverable and more secure experiences. Windows Media Center
is available on Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Ultimate.

In addition to Windows Media Center users, Xbox 360 system
owners already have access to watch movies and TV episodes instantly from
Netflix via an Xbox LIVE Gold Membership. The offerings through both platforms
allow customers to enjoy more than 12,000 movies and TV episodes.

“We’re continuing to work with the top content providers
today to make watching TV on the PC a mainstream experience for the future,”
said Craig Eisler corporate vice president of entertainment client software for
the TV, Video and Music Business Group at Microsoft. “Consumers understand that
content is the driving force when it comes to experiences, and with Netflix,
we’re underscoring our broader commitment to deliver a rich experience with
Windows Media Center.”

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide
leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses
realize their full potential.

13 thoughts on “Microsoft and Netflix Enhance Movie and TV Watching on the PC

  1. It doesn’t support Extenders so I won’t be using it. I bought into Microsoft’s previous vision of having my computer in my home office and Extenders throughout the house to play the media. Looks like Microsoft is moving away from this vision and leaving me high and dry when it comes to new features.

  2. High and Dry indeed. Not a week goes by that my wife doesn’t note the failures of our 2 extenders vs. our previous TiVo use.

    Just checked out my Vista Media Center to try the new NetFlix stuff out and its not there. Is there an update to install or what?

  3. Earth to Microsoft – you may not have noticed, but there is a world outside North America. And it’s big, very big. Bozos.

  4. Anybody consider making Silverlight into softsled? No idea if that could work, but this post got me to thinking.

  5. kraig109 : Yes have considered this myself. Big problem is that Silverlight 1+2 don’t support .dvr-ms or .wvx format – so it would need a real time transcoder to be useful for recorded tv content. There’s a possibility this could be done for Silverlight 3 (which allows for providers to add some custom codec support) – but this is still a few months away at best.

  6. Well, I guess it’s time for me to abandon my extenders. I’m willing to jump on Windows 7 media center and the enhanced remote desktop experience for streaming media.

  7. Failure to support Extenders makes this useless. This is what separates MS from greatness, the lack of compatibility across products and neutering others from shining. Netflix Extender support should be a no brainer. Same deal with the Sports Channel shipping without Extender support – what a waste and a great way to limit the market. Crap – if they want to pimp Netflix on 360 to push Gold Memberships, just make that a requirement. i.e. Require your XBox Gold ID and Netflix ID to use Netflix on an Extender, but do not kill the exerience that my wife would want – MCE as a one stop shop.

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