Microsoft takes on BBC iPlayer

Microsoft yesterday announced a free service that will stream full-length television shows online, in a bid to cash in on the huge success of the BBC’s iPlayer. The MSN Video Player will be available from next week and will start streaming 300 hours of shows, although the technology giant hopes to secure more content as the service gains popularity. The trial service will include content from the BBC’s commercial arm, Worldwide, as well as ALL3Media and will stream hit shows like Shameless. The project is being spearheaded by Microsoft’s managing director and vice president of consumer and online, who was poached after launching the BBC’s iPlayer.