Another plug to be pulled

One of the more curious screen resolutions I’ve ever had to deal with is 544 x 376, which was the size of the original WebTV (later MSN TV) screen. Our decidedly low-tech customer base flocked to the service, and I learned quickly enough to keep the page width down to 540 or so.

Well, what’s left of that base is now being deflocked:

MSN TV closure announcement

WebTV was founded in 1996; Microsoft bought it the next year for $425 million, and turned a fair profit on the service for several years. But no platform can last forever, and this one dies at the end of September.

(Via this Steve Lackmeyer tweet.)







2 comments

  1. Dan T. »

    9 July 2013 · 8:09 am

    It’s best to avoid a hardcoded pixel width for web pages; without one, HTML will adapt gracefully to wide or narrow windows.

  2. McGehee »

    10 July 2013 · 8:31 am

    Unfortunately, images don’t scale. If you’re displaying images and don’t use browser-detection code on your server to send the visitor a properly sized image, you have to limit image size to a workable proportion of the smallest resolution you expect to serve (though click-to-embiggen is a thoughtful feature).

    VGA resolution being 640×480, that should be the rock-bottom size to worry about — though these days I believe 800×600 has become the smallest extant, and HD monitors are increasingly making 1920×1080 standard until 4K kicks in.

    It never would have occurred to me there was a format out there smaller than VGA.

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