BBC promises free cross-platform iPlayer

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Deal with Adobe will bring video player to Mac and Linux users by year-end..

Adobe has promised to work with the BBC to offer the broadcaster's iPlayer service to Macintosh and Linux users by the end of the year.

The two companies announced a partnership in which Adobe will take over the development of a free streaming version of the player for OS X, Linux and Windows.

The iPlayer had been available only to Windows XP users as a video download service. The paid download service will remain, while Adobe will oversee development of the streaming service.

Adobe said that the new player will be based on its Flash platform and will offer live and on-demand video content.

The new deal will be non-exclusive, allowing other developers to continue work on other iPlayer versions, but will remain available only in the UK.

Users have criticised the BBC over the iPlayer since July, when it was revealed that the first versions of the player would support only Windows XP.

The BBC defended the decision, maintaining that other platforms would be added after the Windows version had been rolled out.

The BBC also reported that it has reached a deal with The Cloud to provide Wi-Fi access to the player at more than 7,500 UK hotspots.

The broadcaster said that the move is designed to open up the new service to Wi-Fi enabled mobile devices as well as laptop users.
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