BBC risks ‘Microsoft lock-in’

The BBC’s on-demand television services could lock viewers in to Microsoft products, an open source trade association has warned.

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The BBC’s on-demand television services could lock viewers in to Microsoft products, an open source trade association has warned.

The Open Source Consortium (OSC) says plans revealed in a report from the BBC Trust are anti-competitive. The report – a public value assessment of the BBC’s on-demand service proposals – says services will not be available to viewers who do not use an up to date version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

The OSC argues that if the BBC goes ahead with the plans, it will be promoting Microsoft over its competitors.

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.”

He called on the BBC to reject “any moves that restrict consumer choice".

The BBC document says technology developments over time are likely to enable “even more efficient methods of delivery” for the on-demand service. It adds: “It is our understanding the BBC Executive are working towards the iPlayer download manager being able to function on other operating systems.”

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