The world’s biggest software company is planning to integrate functionality for digital TV set-top boxes into the next version of Windows, code-named Whistler.

A trial version will be demonstrated at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam on Friday.

The company is hoping to head off the threat posed by set-top boxes, which many believe could challenge Windows-based PCs as the primary device for accessing the Internet in the home.

Whistler could potentially run TV entertainment as well as traditional PC applications over the same set-top box.