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The BBC is moving away from desktop apps made by Microsoft-backed Skinkers and instead bringing production in-house, switching to Adobe’s (NSDQ: ADBE) Flash-based cross-platform Flex and AIR frameworks. John O’Donovan, BBC future media and technology’s chief architect for journalism, explained that its desktop alert apps like Mini Motty and news ticker have “hundreds of thousands” of users but “only work on Windows, are built out of a variety of proprietary tools”, “are difficult to manage and expensive to maintain”.
Adobe’s Flex and AIR, by contrast, “link up with in-house skills in the team which manages them, making them simpler to manage”. The corporation launched the first such app, BBC LiveUpdate, in beta today.
It marks a further step in the Beeb’s abandonment of proprietary Windows media players. In October, it signed a technology deal with Adobe to adopt its Flash – a contract that resulted both in the long-awaited Mac-capable web version of iPlayer and in BBC News finally axing Microsoft’s (NSDQ: MSFT) WMV and Real’s video formats in favour of embedded video, causing video views to double. Microsoft bought 10 percent of Skinkers in 2006.