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BBC iPlayer unlikely to land on Windows Phone 8

The BBC says the prospect of its iPlayer application landing on Windows Phone is remote due to the development tools Microsoft requires app developers to use.

The broadcaster, which has been long-awaited on Windows Phone 7, hasn’t materialised because Microsoft uses different technologies to Apple and Android, which the BBC can’t reuse on other platforms.

The Beeb points out, in a response to questions from a WPCentral reader, that Microsoft has once again changed the tools for Windows Phone 8, so a release on the forthcoming platform is unlikely also.

Dan Darker the Program Manager for BBC on demand says:

“This is completely bespoke to Windows Phone 7, and is the costliest option because Windows Phone uses technologies unlike those used on any other platform. While Android and Apple also use their own app technologies, the TV and radio programmes themselves can be created once and used across both, so much of the investment is reusable. Sadly this is not the case for Windows Phone.”

“Unfortunately Microsoft have also announced that Windows Phone 8 apps will be different yet again, so any Windows Phone 7 app we make would have to be rebuilt from the ground up for the next version of Windows Phone.”

Option two

The second option for Windows Phone fans would be to use the IE browser to stream the content from the iPlayer website.

However, that’s also unavailable because of a “bug” that Microsoft has apparently known about for a year, which prevents the content from working within browsers on WP7.

Program Manager for the BBC, Darker added:

“We can encourage Windows Phone users to access our mobile web site by opening from their phones. Unfortunately today there’s a bug in Windows Phone that prevents our standards-based media from being played on those devices.”

“Microsoft has been aware of the bug for over a year now, and we’re hopeful they’ll address it ( on Windows Phone 7 as well as Windows Phone 8 ) so our Windows Phone audiences can access iPlayer.”

Darker says he hopes both of these situations are resolved in the near further so Windows Phone users can enjoy the Beeb’s on-demand content, but until they are, it’s unlikely that we’ll see the iPlayer come to Microsoft’s smartphone platform.

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BBC iPlayer unlikely to land on Windows Phone 8


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