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.)


  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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