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Microsoft, Comcast sign set-top box deal

Cable TV operator Comcast agrees to use Microsoft's software for set-top boxes for up to 5 million users, in a rare win for the software giant's TV efforts.
/ Source: Reuters

Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable TV operator, has agreed to use Microsoft Corp.'s software for set-top boxes for up to 5 million users, the companies said Thursday.

The deal is a rare win for the world's largest software maker, which has been trying for several years to spread the use of its software in the boxes used for delivering and viewing television content.

Philadelphia-based Comcast agreed to extend an existing licensing deal with Microsoft, although it did not say when it would roll out services to its base of over 21 million subscribers.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft's software, called Microsoft TV Foundation Edition 1.7, allows users to record TV programs, bring up video content on demand and also support high-definition television. (MSNBC is a Microsoft - NBC joint venture.)