BBC accused of forcing people to use Microsoft Windows

“The BBC has been accused of forcing people to use Microsoft operating systems and has been threatened with a complaint to the European Commission,” BBC News reports.

The Beeb reports, “The charge concerns the use of Microsoft technology in the corporation’s forthcoming iPlayer. The web service, set for launch later this year, allows viewers to watch shows up to 30 days after broadcast. The BBC has said it does intend to allow access to its content from computers with other operating systems [however] a statement from the organisation read: It is not possible to put an exact timeframe on when BBC iPlayer will be available for Mac users. However, we are working to ensure this happens as soon as possible and the BBC Trust will be monitoring progress on a six monthly basis.

“The accusations against the BBC have been made by advocacy group the Open Source Consortium (OSC),” The Beeb reports. “‘The BBC has a mandate to provide equal access to people irrespective of platform,” said Mark Taylor, president of OSC. ‘We don’t think it is appropriate to lock people into a particular desktop technology.’ The OSC has compared the situation to the BBC offering programmes that only work on certain makes of television.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Macaday” for the heads up.]

29 Comments

  1. NHL.com?

    Works fine here with Safari Beta 3 with Flip 4 Mac installed. No problem. Just watched video highlights of the last game of the Stanley Cup finals. Not even a ‘buffering’ issue.

    Yah. It says WMP 10, but it’s not protected stuff.

  2. As a Brit and a former admirer of the BBC, I’ve been extremely disappointed with the BBC in the last few years, apropos its relationship with Microsoft.

    The BBC has got into bed with a completely discredited, semi-criminal organisation – namely Microsoft.

    This is also to be observed in its ‘tech’ programmes – like ‘Click’ – which always reveal an anti Mac and pro MS stance.

    Shame on you, BBC!

  3. Ordinarily I would say that a company has a right to make their own decisions, and if they don’t support Macs, that’s short-sighted and profit-denying, but they have the right. The BCC is supported by the taxpayer, however, so it doesn’t have that latitude. It must provide its content so that an overwhelming majority of users can view it.

  4. The BBC thing is different, as it’s an application, and not just a site. A company certainly has every right to choose not to support any platform it so desires, of course. But the Beeb is different in that everyone in Britian with a television is forced by law to pay a license fee to fund BBC operations. I know this may seem terribly governmentally intrusive to American eyes (mine included, initially), but the result is a very high quality media outlet not deeply beholden to outside influence (despite the apparent ties to Micro$oft).

    Since they’re spending my TV License on a) programming, and b) software to distribute that programming online, they damn well better not exclude my platform, or the respective platforms of the rest of their license holders.

    I don’t know why they even feel the need to write their own application anyway. They could easily use existing distribution models for this. iTunes would be perfect. Or, oh, I dunno, a website, maybe?

  5. It’s not just about iPlayer. BBC archive radio programmes can only be accessed via Real Player or WMA. If such programmes were MP3’s they would be accessible via iTunes, vTuner or Rhapsody etc – or directly via devices such as Roku and Squeezebox or dedicated network devices such as those from Yamaha.

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