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. No take?

    MDN! I can’t express myself for this one, I need your help!
    I’ll try: 😮

    Did I miss something? Where has MS done anything for portable news technology, what device have they created, what the heck is the BBC thinking? Podcasts are revolutionary, and here MS wants to take credit for them…absolutely remarkable! (they must be taking credit for podcasts, since there are no other major updates in the digital realm!)

    What is going on???

    Is this a JOKE?

  2. For those whinging about support the license payers, wouldn’t it be totally amiss if the BBC *didn’t* sign an agreement with Microsoft to ensure compatibility with future Web 2.0 content? Really? 95% of their audience are, after all, Microsoft users. There’s no room for silly MDN fanboyisms here. And note, the agreement was “non exclusive” – in other words, they remain perfectly able to sign a similar agreement with Apple. And no doubt they will, if Apple has anything to add.

  3. Microsoft paid a bundle to the developer, so it could flog Flip for nothing. If it doesn’t work for you, and you have a Macintel, download the newer universal-binary version if you haven’t done so, or run your browser and plug-ins through Rosetta so the PowerPC Flip version will work.

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