MICROSOFT HAS MOVED INTO cable television with MSNBC, but its employees can't tell by channel surfing. All-news MSNBC reaches 35% of cable-wired households, but the new Microsoft-NBC venture isn't available in Seattle or nearby Redmond, Microsoft's home.

TCI, which covers the Seattle area, says it lacks the channel space to carry MSNBC. TCI is now replacing its coaxial cables with higher-tech fiber, but that will take up to two years. Until then, Redmond just has 50 cable channels. Meanwhile, MSNBC hopes TCI will sub it for another service whose contract lapses. Other places MSNBC can't be seen include Dallas, Detroit, and Houston.

Busy Microsoft staffers can only view MSNBC at a few satellite-linked monitors in their lobbies and cafeterias. Says Redmond-based MSNBC Marketing Director Peter Boucaud: ``I can't even see it at home.''

Edited by Larry Light By Randi Feigenbaum

Updated June 14, 1997 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1996, Bloomberg L.P.
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