News Summary: joint venture dissolved

THE SPLIT: Microsoft is pulling out of the joint venture that owned The relationship began to unwind in 2005 when Microsoft sold its stake in MSNBC's cable TV channel to NBC.

WHAT HAPPENS NOW: Anyone typing into a Web browser is now being automatically redirected to The split frees Microsoft to build its own online news service.

BEHIND THE SCENES: The online divorce stemmed from the two partners' desire to gain greater control over their digital destinies as the Internet becomes an increasingly important part of their businesses.