An (arrogant) report from the BBC Trust states that such services will be unavailable to a ‘minority of consumers who neither use Microsoft software nor have an up-to-date version of the Windows operating system’. Whether this means that they have to have Vista (XP is hardly ‘up-to-date’ is it?) isn’t clear…
The UK’s Open Source Consortium has criticised these plans, and they most likely won’t be the only ones. They believe that if the BBC continue with this, then the licence fee will be spent promoting Microsoft over its competitors, which could be in breach of the BBC’s charter.
OSC Chief Executive, Iain Roberts said: “Our members are competing hard in a fast-moving market and winning new customers every day. Seeing their licence fees going to advertise one of their largest competitors is not acceptable, especially from the BBC which has a duty to be unbiased. We want the BBC to reject any moves that restrict consumer choice.”
So, users of Linux, Mac OS X, and indeed any other flavour of non-Microsoft operating system are deemed a minority not worth bothering with? Maybe it has something to do with the BBC’s partnership with Microsoft? Mac users are already painfully aware of the poor lack of support when trying to view video clips from the BBC – now anyone not on Bill’s side looks set to be shut out.
Is this a conspiracy from British broadcasters? Channel 4 have already opted for a PC-only approach for their 4oD service.
The sad thing is that it can’t be that difficult (for an organisation with the technical knowledge of the BBC) to run a more open service, or make it available in several formats so that the user can choose how to access it.
Not impressed, Auntie. Not impressed.