The BBC and Adobe has announced a strategic relationship that will see the BBC adopt Adobe's Flash Player software, allowing Mac and Linux users to use the broadcaster's iPlayer streaming video service for the first time.

The majority of the BBC's streamed video and audio content will also be moved over to this format to provide what it calls a "consistent user experience". However, at the time of writing, it hasn't confirmed that video for Windows users will be in Flash format. We're currently expecting clarification on this from Adobe.

iPlayer is currently being trialled as an open beta programme, though this is based on Microsoft's Windows Media format - which requires Windows XP or Windows Vista to run. The full launch of iPlayer is expected to be around Christmas, when users on all three platforms -- Mac, Linux and Windows -- will watch video in Adobe's Flash Video format.

Erik Huggers, BBC Future Media and Technology Group Controller said: "I'm delighted to announce this strategic relationship with Adobe. It is important to ensure that BBC iPlayer is available on as many platforms as possible. It will offer our audiences increased flexibility as to how and when they consume our content, both live and on-demand, on bbc.co.uk. With a complete end-to-end workflow, Adobe's video solutions will revolutionise how we create and deliver content to audiences in the digital age."

Bruce Chizen, chief executive officer of Adobe added, "Adobe is driving the next generation of video delivery by accelerating the fusion of TV and the Internet. With more control over playback, interactivity and branding, the move to Flash Player compatible video will help the BBC to engage audiences by delivering a seamless, instant-on Web video experience."

BBC iPlayer will have its consumer marketing launch at Christmas when it will offer downloading and streaming services, as well as radio. The service currently enables viewers to download and view around 400 hours of television programmes from the last seven days and store for up to 30 days. All procurement of software, hardware and services will follow the BBC's usual procurement practice.

BBC iPlayer is only available to UK audiences and cannot be accessed outside the country.