BBC and Microsoft to Partner Up

Dennis Faas's picture

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Microsoft have signed a non-exclusive memorandum of understanding that outlines the future partnership between the two organizations.

The BBC recently released a statement asserting that the memorandum signals the intent of the two companies to determine similar interests, which can lead to the formation of a strategic alliance. (Source:

Although little details were provided at a press conference held on last Wednesday, BBC's Director General Mark Thompson indicated that the joint projects between the two companies involve creating a radically different type of website for web 2.0 standards, and developing a method for sharing online content. Furthermore, Thompson emphasized the partnership to be assurance that the BBC will be able to "embrace the creative challenges of the digital future." (Source:

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates also expressed his enthusiasm for the opportunity: "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 on any device. This vision fits squarely with the BBC's charter to lead the industry in delivering content that is compelling and accessible." (Source:

The memorandum opens up opportunities for both companies. BBC will benefit from Microsoft's Internet expertise as it moves away from the traditional cable broadcasting model. Microsoft, who will have the option to sell its 18% ownership of MSNBC in 2007, stands to gain another partnership in the television industry. The non-exclusivity of the BBC memorandum allows the company to keep their holding in MSNBC while pursuing joint projects with BBC. (Source:

Like most initial statements involving high-profile partnerships, we are left wondering what exactly will come about -- and when results will be produced. While these details still remain unknown, the partnership will hopefully flourish and produce innovative offerings for the BBC -- and possibly a new web standard for broadcasting companies.

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