Friends, we must act now and stop BBC from making their forthcoming on-demand service Windows only.
If you don’t fancy reading all of the 121 pages of “Public Value Assessment:
BBC On-demand Service Proposal”, see the parts where the word “Microsoft” is mentioned:
“The technology required to use this streaming service is expected to be a minimum of
Windows 98 and Microsoft Windows Media Player 9 or RealPlayer.”
What! Minimum Windows 98? I don’t mean to be snobby but if you run Windows 98 you haven’t even heard the word ‘on-demand’…
“This means the service would be unavailable to a minority of consumers who either do not use Microsoft or do not have an up-to-date Microsoft operating system.”
Yes, I guess under 5% is a minority. But so is Finland’s Swedish speaking population and yet we all embrace this by learning Swedish (not always by choice, must be added).
We also note that the Microsoft-based strategy for rights management will limit usage. Normally, we would expect BBC services to be universally available, as universal access to
BBC services is in the public interest. However, as set out above, other mainstream
technology platforms do not currently provide the appropriate security.
Do they not? If they’re really worried about someone watching and storing their programs, maybe they should stop broadcasting them on TV!
Next 6 “Microsoft” mentions in the document basically repeat these point again.
If you want to take part in the consultation, and I suggest you do, you don’t have to answer all the questions. Here’s the most important ones and what I answered on them:
“Do you agree with the BBC Trust’s proposal to approve the new BBC on-demand services, subject to the modifications outlined in the Trust’s report of its provisional conclusions?”
“There should be an on-demand service, but it should absolutely be available cross platform, not just Windows.”
“In a market in which most broadcasters are expected to be offering on-demand services, would you agree that it is a priority for the BBC to be investing in this area?”
“The BBC Trust has proposed setting a limit of 30 days as the amount of time that programmes can be stored on a computer before being viewed. As this is a nascent market, there is currently no clear standard on the length of the storage window. On balance, the Trust thinks 30 days is the right length of time. How long do you think consumers should be able to store BBC programmes on their computers before viewing them?”
“Consumers are paying TV license fees, which is used to pay for BBC programming. Therefore, the consumer should be able to store the program on their computer for unlimited time. There is no restriction on recording programs on VHS, DVD or DVR devices, there should also be no restriction on using and storing the files that have been downloaded.”
“How important is it that the proposed seven-day catch-up service over the internet is available to consumers who are not using Microsoft software?”
“It is very important that people using other operating systems are not discriminated.”
I can’t stress enough how important this is. Have you ever tried to watch BBC’s streaming on their website? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to do that on a Mac? This is also related to what I was writing earlier. In theory, I don’t have anything against Microsoft, if someone wants to use their products, it’s not my problem. Just don’t make me use them. But I can see that if this was Windows only, I would be using Windows on my MacBook more often than I want to. Let’s stop this non-sense!