Open Tech Today - Top Stories

Monday, February 05, 2007

BBC Handcuffs Viewers to Microsoft

I love the BBC -- its news coverage, its TV shows, its website, its independence even in the face of pressure by its public paymasters. When it comes to technology, however, the BBC seems willing to trade that famous independence for a set of handcuffs.

Access to BBC on-demand TV services will be unavailable to consumers who do not have an up-to-date version of Microsoft Windows. It matters not what you think of Microsoft; forcing consumers to choose any single vendor, system or computer is unnecessary, wasteful and unfair.

Just ask the victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 who were unable to register online for disaster relief on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website. Online registration for disaster help required Internet Explorer initially.

The truth is: lock-in is a bad idea.

You can tell the BBC what you think about its plans on its website here.

Categories: consumers, lock-in, BBC, Microsoft


Paul Parkinson said...

I thought you might be interested in the following news story. 10,000 people have signed an e-petition on the Downing Street website to stop the BBC using a Windows-only platform. Full story below:

iPlayer faces petition pressure

Jeff said...

Thanks, Paul for the update.

No surprise that people are upset that BBC is locking them into a single vendor when so many choices exist in the market. I expect more signatures on the e-petition.

I am still surprised that BBC will launch iPlayer, its on-demand TV service, as a Windows-only platform. The important/value of interoperability and platform neutrality (required by the BBC Trust) are perfectly well known.

So why launch at all until at least some semblance of platform neutrality can be offered?