BBC Denies Secret iPlayer Deal With Microsoft

    November 2, 2007

Although the BBC’s iPlayer only works with XP-equipped computers, there is no secret alliance between the world’s biggest broadcasting corporation and Microsoft.  According to one exec, the XP compatibility merely arose out of an interest in serving the greatest number of people possible.

BBC Denies Secret iPlayer Deal With Microsoft

After all, can you imagine what would have happened if the iPlayer only worked on Macs?  So in that sense, the claim of Ashley Highfield, the BBC’s director of Future Media and Technology, rings true.  Also, Highfield has indicated that increased compatibility is on the way.

BBC Denies Secret iPlayer Deal With Microsoft

“By Christmas we will have a streaming solution for Mac and Linux users,” he told Andy McCue.  The outlook for a download solution is also good, yet Highfield stated, “The point is, I’m not going to be able to commit to it until we’ve got our sticky mitts on it, tried it, tested it, worked out the cost implications.”

If the BBC were a normal company, we could probably leave the matter at that.  But due to license fees and a Royal Charter, “The BBC is run in the interests of its viewers and listeners,” according to its own website.  As a result, concerns that its iPlayer can’t be used by everyone might have greater validity.

Highfield was quite clear, though, on the fact that the BBC is not in cahoots with Microsoft.