BBC signs web deal with Microsoft

BBC press release verbatim:

The BBC and Microsoft Corp took a step toward strengthening their working alliance yesterday when the two companies signed a non-exclusive memorandum of understanding.

The memorandum of understanding will define the framework within which the companies can explore opportunities for the delivery and consumption of BBC content and the evolution of next-generation broadcasting.

In Seattle, as part of a fact-finding tour of the US, BBC Director-General Mark Thompson and Director of New Media and Technology Ashley Highfield met Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates to officially sign the memorandum of understanding and discuss the BBC’s digital strategy.

This includes plans for its online archive, for a radically re-invented website in the web 2.0 world — a second generation of internet-based services — and for ways to share its online content in the future.

“We are currently witnessing unprecedented rates of change in technology and audience expectations,” Thompson said.

“To ensure that the BBC is able to embrace the creative challenges of the digital future, we need to forge strategic partnerships with technology companies and distributors for the benefit of licence payers.”

“Microsoft’s strength is in driving digital innovation, and our vision is to open up rich, new consumer experiences that allow people to enjoy digital content anytime, anywhere and on any device,” Gates said.

“This vision fits squarely with the BBC’s charter to lead the industry in delivering content that is compelling and accessible. I’m delighted that we’re taking this important step, and I look forward to working together to develop new models for content delivery and consumption.”

“Microsoft is not just a key supplier to the BBC, it is also a key gateway to audiences that the BBC needs to reach through web services it runs like MSN and Windows Live Messenger, and hardware such as Xbox and the Windows Media Center,” Highfield said.

“The BBC needs to work with all players in this space to make sure our programmes and content are enjoyed by the widest possible audience, without always having to come to to find it.

“The learnings from our US visit will very much inform our thinking on the BBC’s creative future.”

The memorandum of understanding aims to identify areas of common interest between the BBC and Microsoft on which a strategic alliance could be developed.

Areas of potential investigation and collaboration include search and navigation, distribution, and content enablement.

Any actual procurements of new technology, or launch of new services by the BBC, would be subject to appropriate regulatory approval.

Press release link here.


  1. I never said there was anything wrong with H.264. To me it seems like the obvious choice too.

    Don’t care what they say, it doesn’t play in Flip.

    It isn’t automatically bad that the BBC partner with Microsoft, but if they end up being the only partner,if they’ve bought themseves in then I agree it’ll end in disaster.

  2. “Well, I suppose they think that Billy G. owes them something since they gave him a title into the peerage.”

    No, the Blairites gave Bill a KBE, which is well below the peerage. Is the BBC Blairite? Definitely not. Are they commie? Maybe. For sale? No, because nobody owns it. In Microsoft’s pocket? Better not be.

    Who cares anyway. It’s not like they show much worth bothering with, and I can record anything I want using EyeTV.

    British institutions one day are going to work out that Microsoft isn’t even liked by most people, and certainly isn’t respected.

  3. It would be irresponsible to it’s owners for the BBC to use anything that was not an ISO standard. And it is irresponsible for proprietary systems to not support ISO standards. Microsoft rejects supporting any kind of ISO standard. This is one nasty company.

  4. A slight overreaction going on here.

    If it was an exclusive deal then it would be a problem but as it’s non-exclusive and they’re free to also work with Apple and anyone else then there is no problem.

  5. “A slight overreaction going on here.”

    “New here? (j/k)”

    Haha no, overreaction is par for the course here I know and I was feeling a tad sarcastic when I typed it. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  6. AhHAHAHAHAHHohhahahahaha..
    Oh, gasp! hahahah…
    Quote from article: “Microsoft’s strength is in driving digital innovation…” HAHAHAHHohhahahahaha..AHAHHohhahahahaha..
    Good Lord! Pick me off the floor, I can’t even catch my breath that sentence was so freakin’ hysterical! What planet is BBC on or what drug!?

    MDN word: Kept as in just kept laughin’

  7. Perhaps this explains BBC World’s “Click” program this evening (seen in Germany) in which a UK viewer took them to task over an apparent recent report on computer security – or rather the lack of it in Windows. The host — with a world-class condescending attitude, and claiming to cite “experts” dismissively reverted to the “obscurity is security” myth. I came here to look for statistics with which to rebutt and found this article. Aha. The light turns on….

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