Are you ignoring 350,000 potential customers?
 by Stephen Mahaney

Are you ignoring 350,000+ potential customers?

WebTV usage is on the rise with more sales every month attributed to this segment of Internet users. WebTV currently says they have 350,000 active users, with that number expected to double in the next year. If your site caters to consumer sales, then you don't want to overlook this market.

On several consumer related sites that we are involved with, we are tracking around 1-2% usage by WebTV users and it's growing, especially on those sites that score highly on WebCrawler, WebTV's default search engine. At the bare minimum, you should test your site and make sure it is usable and capable of completing a sales transaction. As this market increases, it may even be more beneficial to make a completely customized version just for WebTV users. Just wait until Microsoft really fires up the marketing department pushing WebTV, then you are going to see some significant increases here.

Now you don't have to go out and buy one to test your site! Recently WebTV released a Windows and Mac version that allows you to see what your site looks like when using WebTV. If you are a web page developer, more than likely you are already testing your new pages with different versions of Netscape and Internet Explorer. Time to add this browser to your testing schedule.

http://developer.webtv.net/design/tools/viewer/

Note: One thing that we immediately noticed was that the WebTV Viewer doesn't appear to support password protected websites, like the one you are now on. Our understanding is that the regular WebTV box does support password protected sites and shouldn't have a problem with them, as that is part of the recommended testing procedure. For full ...

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