On July 15, software giant Microsoft ended its 16-year experiment with MSNBC. com --- the company, in a joint disclosure with NBC Universal, revealed that it was abandoning its msnbc. com/MSNBC cable television partnership with NBC.
With NBC News’ parent NBC Universal having acquired Microsoft’s 50 percent share of MSNBC cable network for an undisclosed amount, the culmination of the Microsoft-NBC association marks the end of the first experiment in networking conventional TV media with the Internet.
It was way back in 1996 – the early days of internet - that Microsoft and NBC, the two bigwig companies in complementary businesses, had decided to join forces for a news-and-technology-sharing platform, msnbc. com.
While the end of the Microsoft-NBC partnership has resulted in the immediate rebranding of the msnbc. com site as NBCNews. com, the changeover will actually be complete only by next year, when msnbc. com will be relaunched as the new home for the MSNBC TV.
Though the move will then completely end the relationship between Microsoft and NBC – with Microsoft no longer involved in MSNBC TV, except for probably buying advertising time -, the cable channel will however retain the "MS" in its name.
Noting that the end of Microsft-NBC partnership was an indication that it was time for both companies to control their digital destinies, NBC News’ President Steve Capus said during a conference call on Monday: “This is an exciting day for NBC News. … We want to make sure we have direct control of our digital future.”