MS to bring WebTV to UK in October

Microsoft is bringing Internet-capable television to the UK.

WebTV Networks is slated to set up here in October as Big Green seeks to make international - and financial - sense of its $425 million purchase.

The wholly-owned subsidiary will share a new building in Covent Garden, London with MSN UK. The glitzy space will include a huge flat-screen monitor in the reception and Net access booth.

"I understand that at some point it will happen but I don't know when," a Microsoft UK spokesman said. However, sources confirmed the move.

Microsoft's purchase of WebTV takes it into a pitched battle with Sun which recently acquired Diba, a startup designer of set-top boxes and other 'information appliances', and Oracle, which recently purchased Navio Communications, a Netscape spin-off specialising in small-footprint browser development.