Before there were vbrick systems, there was MSN TV, which later developed into WebTV. WebTV was a network founded by entrepreneur Steve Perlman when he decided to create web-access television. The company flourished from 1995 until it was bought out by Microsoft in 1997. The original WebTV email service soon became MSN TV. All traces of WebTV disappeared. However, almost 20 years later, it is still possible to access your WebTV email. If you want to access old contacts or messages, follow the steps below. You may be able to log back into your WebTV email from the 90s.
What Was WebTV?
WebTV was a set-top device from the 1990s. It allowed users to surf the web on a television, much like modern smart TVs. The WebTV device was designed by a tech startup in a time before tech startups were a cultural phenomenon. However, the product was a flop. That is why those who bought a WebTV need a way to access their email account from the old days. Keep reading if you are one of those individuals.
Go To Outlook.com
Although WebTV and its Microsoft successor MSN TV shut down years ago, Microsoft claims to have preserved previous email addresses as well as the WebTV.net domain. However, the domain is not accessible to the public. In order to get revive your WebTV email you will have to log onto Microsoft’s current email service, Outlook. Outlook has survived the test of time, unlike your unique USB. The program was introduced in 1997, right when Microsoft acquired WebTV. Today, it is a flourishing personal information management application that may still retain information from your WebTV email.
Once you have reached the Outlook sign in page you are going to have to try to sign in. If you remember your email and password from 20 years ago, you are well on your way to accessing the account. However, if you cannot remember the password you will first have to go through the usual steps to change it just as you would for an Outlook pst file. Follow the prompts given by Microsoft. With any luck, you will remember the answers to age old security questions. Then you will be able to create a new password.
Access The Account
If all goes well and you are able to reset the password, you should be all set. However, there is a possibility that your old email from the days of Wintel was deemed inactive and deleted by Microsoft. Accounts that have not been used in several years are liable to be shut down to make space on the email provider’s servers. However, if you are lucky Microsoft will have merely migrated the email’s information over to their Outlook servers. Sign in with your information. If it works, congratulations! If it does not, sadly there is no other means of accessing the account.
Using Your WebTV Email
Although it was founded based on the WebTV network, you do not need a WebTV product to access your account. You can sign in from an Apple, Android, PC or any other current device. Now that you have signed in again, you can transfer all of your contact and information to another, more current, email. However, you can also choose to continue using the WebTV email as is, just like you would access your Raven Software games. All you have to do to keep that email address accessible is sign in once every few months. This will ensure that it remains active. If you wish to keep using this outdated account, you will need to remember this crucial portion.
If you want to access an old, outdated email remember that there are ways to do it. However, we would not recommend using this email for your media monitoring responsibilities. Microsoft may have taken over WebTV, but they did not get rid of all of their email accounts. If you can remember your username and password, you may be lucky enough to find your 1990’s email address active. Give it a try, just remember to use Outlook to get there.
Why Did WebTV Fail?
Even though you now know how to access that age old email account, that still leaves questions unanswered. One such question – why did WebTV fail in the first place? Unfortunately, no help from ITAA advocacy would make any difference in their demise. Formerly MSN TV, the hottest tech startup of the 1990s died out much sooner than anyone had anticipated. One of the reasons that executives who worked on the project cited was the explosion of mobile technology. The iPad, in particular, immediately became the standard for web access when it was released. There was no longer a need for accessing the internet on a familiar device like the TV. People were clearly willing to move on. The iPad killed WebTV.
WebTV User Experience
Another reason cited as the downfall of WebTV was the poor user experience it provided. Despite the many alterations that developers made to the internet design to make it more user-friendly, their attempts fell flat. The service was unable to provide an optimal user experience. Obviously, if customers do not like using the WebTV service, the company is doomed. This was certainly an issue WebTV faced that led to its downfall, unlike Huawei.
Photo from http://www.engadget.com/2013/07/09/an-inside-view-of-the-webtv-revolution-that-didnt-happen/
On March 21, 2017, I am experiencing difficulties accessing my WebTV.net account. Is it still in service?