Microsoft employee forced to remove unofficial BBC apps for Windows (update)


While there are a number of unofficial BBC News apps, one in particular has caught the attention of the British broadcaster. Lawrence Gripper, a technical account manager at Microsoft, has been forced to remove his BBC News app from the Windows Phone and Windows 8 app stores. Describing the apps as a "labor of love," Gripper revealed the removal of the apps on his personal blog. "It is with great sadness today that I removed both applications from the store."

Gripper developed both of the applications, that provide access to BBC News articles, before joining Microsoft — although the company encourages employees to build apps. They're still available temporarily, and a number of other unofficial BBC apps remain listed in the Windows Phone and Windows stores. The Verge understands that the removal was related to legal pressures from the BBC. Gripper isn't commenting on the issues, though, simply offering a word of thanks to the half a million users who downloaded the apps over the past few years.

The BBC has not yet released any official news applications on Windows Phone or Windows 8. The company recently announced plans to support its iPlayer streaming service on Windows Phone, with an application expected to arrive shortly. We have reached out to the BBC to comment on its role in the removal and whether the company is planning its own apps, and we'll update you accordingly.

Update: A BBC spokesperson has provided The Verge with the following statement:

The BBC has clear terms of use that are designed to enable further distribution of BBC content and services in a way that is fair to all parties, and does not imply authorisation or endorsement by the BBC. These are available at In this case, the terms of use were unfortunately not met, and we have therefore asked for the app to be removed.

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