MicrosoftTV enters European market, France First.

Deutsche Telekom's French Internet arm, Club Internet, will be the first in Europe to sell Microsoft's software for TV and video on demand over Internet Protocol networks to consumers, the pair said on Friday.

Microsoft's television technology allows users to watch high-definition TV, two programmes at the same time and record up to 50 hours. It is part of the U.S. giant's strategy to diversify into telecoms, media and the home-networking market.

Existing customers at Club Internet will be able to start using Microsoft TV software at the end of the month while new customers will wait until August.

The U.S. group expects to launch its TV software commercially with Deutsche Telekom in Germany starting this summer and BT Group in Britain later this year.

"The Microsoft TV-based solution can be tailored to suit the viewers' preferences, turning television into a more personalised entertainment experience for each individual," the two companies said in a statement.

Club Internet had 500,000 high-speed Internet customers by early June, placing it behind rivals Orange, Iliad and Neuf Cegetel in France.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.