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Microsoft will launch its own video website

SEATTLE -- Microsoft Corp. is hoping to tap the explosive popularity of online video sharing by joining startups and major Internet rivals with its own video service.

Rob Bennett, general manager of MSN's entertainment and video services unit, acknowledged that Silicon Valley startup YouTube Inc. has an early lead, having already attracted tens of millions of users in the year and a half since it launched. Rivals Google Inc., Yahoo Inc., and Time Warner Inc.'s AOL also have similar offerings.

But Microsoft believes there is ``still plenty of room to innovate, and go beyond what I would say most services provide . . . just sort of the basics, a very kind of primitive experience that is not that engaging," Bennett said.

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