Microsoft has finally decided to pull out of the tag-team news site MSNBC, which will essentially free the largest software company to build their own online news service.

Microsoft announced late Sunday night that the 16-year arrangement between Microsoft and NBC News (a Comcast company), has been dissolved. MSNBC will now redirect to NBC’s news site, NBCNews.com effective immediately. See: http://msnbc.com.

No amount was disclosed in regards to how much NBC paid Microsoft for their half of the MSNBC website.

The internet has become an increasingly important venue for their business, and the dissolving of MSNBC signifies each companies desire to get a better grasp on where they’re looking to go on the web. The first step, is to gain more control of their content.

According to the Associated Press, Microsoft was growing frustrated by the contract terms that required them to exclusively feature MSNBC.com content on its own website. It grew increasingly uncomfortable with the dramatic direction the news site had taken in regards to its strategy for tough opposition to Fox News, providing in many cases a strong liberal viewpoint to the news.

Microsoft, in particular, had grown frustrated by contract terms requiring it to exclusively feature MSNBC.com content on its own websites. That exasperation was exacerbated by the MSNBC cable channel’s strategy to counter Fox News Channel’s appeal to conservative viewers by tailoring its programming for an audience with a liberal viewpoint. This of course caused Microsoft’s website to slightly slant politically as well.

via the Associated Press:

“Being limited to MSNBC.com content was problematic to us because we couldn’t have the multiple news sources and the multiple perspectives that our users were telling us that they wanted,” said Bob Visse, general manager of MSN.com.

NBC News believes that the future will be much brighter without the partnership. With this switch to NBCNews.com, NBC will be looking for new partnerships that were previously unavailable when they were with Microsoft.

“There is no question that we are going to have more flexibility to make our own decisions,” said Vivian Schiller, NBC News’ chief digital officer. “This is really an amicable breakup. We think competition will make us better.”

It’s sup rising considering MSNBC.com and affiliate sites are ranked fourth most popular for general news sites in the United States. ABC News has an alliance with Yahoo, which pulls in 81 million views and is number one, followed by AOL/Huffington Post in second and CNN in third.

For those wondering whether or not jobs will be lost in the deal, NBC News actually plans on creating new jobs within their organization for the MSNBC cable channel personalities next year. No hard-facts on whether a majority of their off-air staff will get hired as well

(via AP and MSNBC)

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