September 28, 2006 12:04 PM PDT

Microsoft, BBC pair up on digital strategy

The BBC has signed a memorandum of understanding with Microsoft to work together on next-generation digital broadcasting technologies.

The agreement could give the software giant a major role in the state-owned British broadcaster's delivery of Internet-based digital content in the future.

The memorandum was signed by BBC Director General Mark Thomson, the BBC's director of new media and technology, Ashley Highfield, and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates on Wednesday in Seattle.

The memorandum does not commit the BBC to buying any Microsoft technology to underpin the introduction of digital services in the future. A BBC representative said this was "definitely on the cards," but insisted that the broadcaster won't be favoring Microsoft at the expense of its rivals.

The BBC is working on several digital broadcasting projects, including a scheme to make its programming archive available online.

Highfield cited Microsoft's MSN service, Windows Media Center platform, Windows Live Messenger application and the Xbox console as potential gateways for BBC content.

It's likely, though, that the BBC would face heavy criticism and possible regulatory intervention if its content was only available via Microsoft products. According to the BBC, this isn't going to happen.

"This is certainly not an exclusive arrangement," the BBC representative said. "We are meeting with Real Networks, IBM and Linden (Labs, behind the "Second Life" 3D digital world), and we're also keen to speak to the Apples and Googles of this world."

Graeme Wearden reported for ZDNet UK from London.

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6 comments

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Microsoft Agrees to Work With The Dark Side?
I though MSNBC was a mistake early with their left-wing garbage they call news, now the ultra liberal BBC? What's the world coming too?! Ugh.
Posted by WJeansonne (480 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Bill Gates *is* a liberal
You'd never tell by the way the Clinton administration went after him but the Gates are democrats. So any tie-in between MS and the liberal media is a natural.

That said, this deal is all about technology and money and while the euros may not like to admit it, when it comes to IP-based TV MS has a commanding lead on competitors, especially in the area of back-end software and services; They've been working the issues of a top-to-bottom turnkey solution for over a decade while most of the competitors only deal with a slice of the problem.
That's why you get this kind of announcement; the BBC is going to make a big stink over looking over all alternatives to quiet the ABM politicians but in the end they'll go with the package that delivers all the goods and thats Microsoft.
Posted by -fjtorres- (226 comments )
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Eh?
Ultra liberal BBC?

Couple of things - what the heck are you talking about? And,
secondly, I hate to break it to you but in the UK, "liberal" isn't a
dirty word.

Just for some crazy reason, in the US it's used as a form of insult.
Posted by ross brown--2008 (57 comments )
Link Flag
Terrorist Huggers Unite
These terrorist huggers (the BBC) can't even call a spade a spade! They refuse to acknowledge the terrorists in Britain, but use the term muslim extremists instead, a much kinder, softer label. The terrorist hugging liberals in the U.S. are concerned about the rights of criminals in Guantanamo and share info with their friends at the BBC. Hence, my title to this posting. The left-wing cretins are certainly on the march around the globe!
Posted by WJeansonne (480 comments )
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Pillock
So everybody in Guantanamo is a criminal are they? Put them on
trial then. Charge them with something that would be
recognised by any other of the world's nations.

But you don't, do you? Cause the detention is, in many cases, a
symbolic act to keep a braying public satisfied that somehow the
"war on terror" (a war on a noun?) could ever be won.

And when you're sat on a potential tinderbox, the choice of
words is vital to ensure you don't inflame a situation. The people
who struck on 07/07/05 in London were terrorists and they
were EXTREMISTS. Suggesting - even in a roundabout way - that
all Muslims are terrorists is akin to suggesting that all Irish
people are members of the IRA. It's a non-sensical stereotype.

But sometimes it's easier to believe that - especially if you're too
dumb to think for yourself.
Posted by ross brown--2008 (57 comments )
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