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MSNBC Renamed NBCNews Following NBC/Microsoft Split

For years, MSNBC has been part of the internet's furniture. However, it seems this collaboration between Microsoft and NBC has come to an end. Visiting msnbc.com will now redirect you to NBCnews.com, as a news article from NBC indicates that the two companies have parted ways. The reason for the split is apparently Microsoft's desire to start its own news service. Previously, all of its news had come from NBC News. The company is now said to be preparing to launch its own news service next year.

NBC announced that it had purchased Microsoft's 50 percent stake in MSNBC and rebranded the site last night. NBCNews.com will become a part of NBC News Digital, a new division led by Vivian Schiller, the former president and chief executive of National Public Radio. For the time being, MSNBC.com will be hard at work, redirecting traffic to NBCnews.com. Soon, though, it will become the web address of MSNBC TV, giving the cable channel its own dedicated address. Microsoft is going to do its own thing, too. Free from the shackles of providing exclusively NBC news content, the company has begun hiring for a new news service under the MSN.com brand. This news portal will launch in the fall. 

"If you start thinking about what we're going to be doing in Windows 8 and the Bing app and what we're going to be doing ... across the multiple platforms, it makes a lot of sense for Microsoft," Bob Visse, general manager of MSN.com, is quoted as saying. "We're talking about using technology and using data to solve information delivery and news delivery in new and innovative ways," he said. "It's really difficult for us to do that when we have an exclusive, single-source relationship with one news provider."

And so ends a 16-year partnership that started back in 1996 with the launch of MSNBC.com and MSNBC TV. Microsoft ditched its share of MSNBC TV roughly seven years ago, and now NBC has bought its share of the digital news site. Financial details were not disclosed but the New York Times cites sources that say Microsoft received $300 million for its 50 percent stake.

NBCNews.com reports that it could take up to two years for the two companies to separate themselves completely. Case in point: Microsoft will continue to sell NBCNews.com's advertising inventory for an undisclosed period, while NBCNews.com will provide news for MSN.com.

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