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Next generation BBC iPlayer gets MS man on board

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The BBC has hired another Microsoft executive in a shakeup of its digital media technology teams earlier this week.

The Register has learned that Jon Billings was appointed to a new team responsible for the development of the next generation of the BBC iPlayer earlier this week. He is a former program manager in Microsoft's digital media division.

Free software advocates have accused the BBC of being "corrupted" by Redmond. Erik Huggers is now in charge of the future media and technology group and used to be Microsoft's digital media director.

The beta release of the current iteration of iPlayer in July, on PCs with Windows XP and Internet Explorer, instantly hit criticism. Many couldn't download it, those who did reported it was more like an alpha release, and switching off the Kontiki P2P software behind it is complicated.

We wrote what we reckon is the plan for iPlayer in this piece in August. Platform independence is a certainty, but if our analysis is correct, implicit support for Microsoft technologies will only increase. ®

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