Tuesday, July 9, 2013

7.9.13 Hero of the Day: WebTV

Bee-otch of the Day honors are awarded Monday through Thursday, Bee-otch of the Week is awarded Friday on Chuck69.com.



Name: MSN TV
Age: 17
Occupation: internet portal
Last Seen: Redmond, WA
Awarded For: making this website possible


Goodbye, old friend.

It was announced last Monday that after 17 years in business, MSN TV - fka WebTV - will cease operations on September 30th. Because of low subscription numbers, the unavailability of new software (new MSN TV units were last made years ago) plus the fact that people can get on the web a lot cheaper - and faster - with cell phones and iPads, the MSN TV concept was just too antiqued to today's standards.

But, we still owe them a piece of gratitude.

In the late 90's, I was webless. Computers were too darned expensive, and was bummed out that I didn't have a piece of the web to call my own. Then, a cousin of mine heard about WebTV and soon, much of my family was rushing out to the store to get their own. I finally got my WebTV in December, 1998 as a gift from my mom.

From there, I was hooked. The internet became a part of my life thanks to WebTV. They were popular for a spell, introducing cool new features including one where anybody could create their own website. I created a site called "Bring Howard Stern to Northern Michigan Radio and TV", which evolved to this very site you're reading right now.

Of course, WebTV had its problems, especially on my end. There was no hard drive, so downloading was not possible, some websites were unreadable because they involved software like Java that WebTV did not have, and most of all, in my case, I was only given one dial-up number for the rural wasteland where I lived. It was so bad that I had to get a second web connection for an extra $20 per month so I could connect to WebTV effortlessly.

After I graduated high school, I took my WebTV to tech school and back home when I graduated. However, I moved to Grand Rapids in 2002, and since I was staying with my aunt's at the time and she lost her WebTV due to a power surge, I gave her my old WebTV as a thank you since my stepdad gave me a refurbished computer to use for downloading and such.

Since WebTV, I moved on to a 6GB computer to an 80GB unit to my current 450GB Toshiba laptop. I've also moved up in the internet connection world, too, from dialup with WebTV to DSL to cable to now, wi-fi from my 4G Android phone. I've moved on up, but I can't forget my roots.

Of course, WebTV was bought out by Microsoft about a year before I got it. It became MSN TV in July, 2001.

In recent years, MSN TV was nothing more than 1990's technology struggling to survive in the age of broadband technology. Even more, the only person I know of who still has WebTV is my 84-year-old grandmother, who uses it to connect to her family. It would be shameful if we would have to get her a computer just so she could e-mail us. But since technology cares more about us youngin's instead of little old ladies, rules are rules.

So long, WebTV, or MSN TV. Say hi to Prodigy, Jeeves, Mosaic and AOL for me, will ya?

Wait, AOL's still around? Never mind...
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1 comment:

  1. *sniff* This article is so appreciated. I too grew up with WebTV, and I'm both amazed and saddened that Microsoft is finally pulling the plug. :'(