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BBC iPlayer comes to Windows Phone - but not as an app

Windows Phone 8
The new service will arrive in the coming months

The BBC is finally bringing iPlayer to Windows Phone 7.5 and 8, though not quite in the form we were hoping for.

The new service, which will arrive "in the next few months", is a Live Tile shortcut that takes users to the service via the BBC Media Player.

A spokesman for the BBC told TechRadar: "It's not a native app, so we're being clear that it will be a shortcut available on the Windows Phone Store. It will link to the mobile site which you currently can't access via Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows Phone 8 via the BBC Media Player."

We all stream for iStream

Over 650 devices can currently access BBC's instant streaming service and this new deal will mean that Windows Phone users can finally join this not-so-exclusive club which includes Blackberry, Android and iOS users.

It's a step in the right direction for Microsoft, but there's a way to go if it wants to play catchup, with the iPhone app already offering offline downloads for iPlayer.

As for Windows 8 users, the desktop iPlayer can still only be downloaded and used in desktop mode, which is better than nothing.