Microsoft MSN Video Player
Microsoft today launches its MSN Video Player, delivering free TV on demand from BBC Worldwide and All3 Media

Microsoft has just announced that it's throwing its hat into the UK TV on demand ring with an all-new service, MSN Video Player.

Leaping ahead of the ill-fated Project Kangaroo and brushing off the yet-to-appear Project Canvas, MSN Video Player will offer full-length programmes from both BBC Worldwide and All3 Media, producers of shows such as Shameless and Peep Show.

The free VoD service, which opens its doors today, will be ad-supported, so there's no subscription or sign-up process and it uses Flash and Windows Media Player rather than Silverlight – good news for PowerPC Mac users.

There will be 300 hours of popular UK shows available at launch, including Hustle, League of Gentlemen and The Young Ones, but it's hoped that the full-length offerings from MSN Video Player will eventually expand to more content deals, and even more platforms, such as mobile and Xbox Live.

More after the break

Given that Sky Player is already coming to Xbox Live, it looks as if Microsoft has its sights firmly set on a new market of TV viewers.