Microsoft is all set for an imminent launch of its online video player which offers full TV shows in Britain, in a similar way to the BBC's iPlayer. Unlike the iPlayer, however, it won't be just restricted to catch-up episodes - you'll be able to watch whole series.

Content is already lined up - Peep Show, Skins and Wife Swap will all be available, with the programs aimed at teenagers, young families and professionals. It'll be free, but there'll be several 30-second adverts to watch - before, during and after the program. It'll only be accessible in Britain.

Ashleigh Highfield, Microsoft’s UK consumer and online managing director, laid in to the iPlayer when asked about the differences - "Not all video players are equal. Our average viewer watches for 25 minutes, significantly higher than other online services. It shows we're doing more than slapping on any programme for people to watch".

The iPlayer has ruled the roost for legal online TV watching in Britain for some time, but can Microsoft's service take its crown? Or will the incoming SeeSaw service provide all you'll need? The times, they are a-changin'.