September 07, 2007 |
Following weeks of public opposition to the BBC’s delivery of a Windows-only IPTV-based software solution, dubbed iPlayer, Downing Street has now officially come to the aid of the 16,000 netizens who signed an electronic petition designed to address the matter of inequality. The UK government is reiterating conditions originally stipulated by the BBC Trust (a sort of internal watchdog of the media house) as indeed mandatory, and that the BBC must provide solutions for the minorities of the PC market. Mac OS X and various Linux distros of course come immediately to mind.
While Windows clearly dominates the PC market, it’s certainly not the only operating system around. Open source offerings have their niche, and even the proprietary system constructed by Apple, Inc has its own circle of devoted consumers; a group, I might add, that is said to be growing at quite a brisk pace as of late. Thus it’s only natural for BBC viewers who’ve situated themselves in these various “camps” over the years of their respective development to want to experience whatever new services the media company delivers.
It’s important to note that, even when discussing cross-platform compatibility today, technology enthusiasts don’t simply wish to see closed applications for operation on Windows, Mac, etc. Ever more frequently, they demand truly open source solutions, regardless of platform. This is especially good for the consumer, because it means that there ideally can be far fewer “barriers to entry”, which can allow for more speedy development, as opposed to the ever so slow one-at-a-time, from-the-ground-up process many have come to tolerate over the years.
If the BBC’s to please all of the signatures on that electronic petition circulated throughout the UK, it’ll look seriously at producing solutions – for Windows, Mac, and Linux – that wear the open source tag on their sleeves. Not only will it grant the BBC bonus points among equal opportunity activists, it’ll likely save the company’s own developers a good deal of work later on down the road. And it wouldn’t hurt to have their software solutions looked at closely by some independent experts scattered about the general populace, either. The company could glean quite a bit of useful information from such folk, many of which are very well seasoned in the assembly of high quality code.