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Is Microsoft's Messenger TV Next YouTube?


Software leader launches new video application.


Messenger TV, a new service that allows users to watch video clips while chatting with friends, was launched yesterday by Microsoft (MSFT) - an attempt to compete with YouTube (GOOG) in the immensely popular online video arena.

"Watching online video can now be a social experience, as people watch videos together, make comments and share reactions," Microsoft's John Mangelaars told Reuters.

Most of the content currently available is under ten minutes in length, meaning there are no movies or TV shows to choose from. Nor are users able to upload their own material at this time, so the name Messenger TV is misleading at best. The upshot? There's no limit to the amount of Mariah Carey and Mylie Cyrus videos users can watch and discuss.

"Its like sitting on a digital couch and chatting with your friends as you watch TV," says Frank Caron of You know, without the actual friends, television programs or snacks.

According to Beta News, the application made its debut in 20 countries, not including the United States. Messenger TV is accessed through Microsoft's MSN Messenger, an application with a heavier European following of approximately 95 million.

But for the curious American there's a workaround.

The application is available if the primary language on Internet Explorer is set to Canadian English. Easy enough to bypass if one's willing to pretend to be Canadian, eh?

The chief reason cited for limiting the launch is the built-in Messenger audience abroad. The chief reason not cited: Microsoft knows this is a recycled idea.

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