The BBC has tied up with Microsoft which sets out the framework for collaboration on projects including the online archive and the “Web 2.0″ revamp of BBC.co.uk. Director general Mark Thompson and new media director Ashley Highfield met with Bill Gates in Seattle yesterday as part of a kind of digital media strategy tour. Highfield said the series of meetings will inform the BBC’s creative future. “Microsoft is not just a key supplier to the BBC, it is also a key gateway to audiences that the BBC needs to reach,” listing Messenger, Xbox and Windows Media Center. Microsoft and the BBC are likely to work together on distribution, search and navigation and content enablement. Thompson said this kind of strategic partnership with tech firms and distributors will be essential, giving the BBC the highest possible audience, though no financial details were disclosed and this is a non-exclusive agreement. Release
Rafat Adds: On using MSFT in the “Web 2.0″ revamp of BBC.co.uk, what this means is that many of MSN Live and other MSFT Web 2.0 related services will seep into BBC’s overhauled site.
Updated: Guardian does an analysis of the deal: The BBC…has a commitment to universality and it will be interesting to see if the partnership extends to using Microsoft’s rights management software for its download and sharing services…[also] Microsoft announcement was the most visible example yet of the increased partnership and openness mantra that Thompson has been espousing ever since the publication of his Building Public Value manifesto in 2004.
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This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.