PARIS - Thomson Multimedia
said its new line of RCA-branded televisions for the European market will house Microsoft Corp.
software for subscription-free interactive-television applications such as electronic mail, electronic program guides and Web browsing without the need for a separate set-top box.
Future plans call for Thomson's TVs to handle interactive elements tied to live programming.
Thomson said it hopes its new line of televisions spur interest in television-commerce and Internet use in Europe, a market that has trailed some other areas of the world.
Thomson's TVs will integrate an ITV service called "TAK," a Thomson subsidiary that is 30-percent owned by Microsoft. Microsoft also holds a greater than 6-percent stake in Thomson Multimedia.