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BBC Trust backs calls for Linux iPlayer

OSC hails positive meeting

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Exclusive The BBC Trust met with the Open Source Consortium (OSC) yesterday to discuss the controversy raised by the BBC's iPlayer, which will only work on Windows XP.

The Trust expressed surprise at the strength of feeling raised by the issue and promised to take it up with senior BBC management. The BBC Trust oversees the BBC and: "ensures the BBC provides high quality output and good value for all UK citizens ".

OSC president Mark Taylor told The Register: "We are very pleased with what was a very positive meeting. The trust was keen to remind us of the BBC's commitment to platform neutrality in general and its commitment to making the iPlayer equally platform neutral. But they were unable to explain how this was going to happen."

A meeting between the OSC, the trust, and senior BBC management is being arranged to discuss this.

A spokeswoman for the BBC Trust gave us the following statement:

The BBC Trust had a useful and constructive meeting with the Open Source Consortium. The meeting provided an opportunity to hear the OSC's concerns and explain what action the trust has taken to ensure that the new BBC iPlayer becomes platform neutral as soon as possible.

Officials reiterated that the BBC Trust is fully committed to users of both the Linux and Mac operating systems having full use of the BBC iPlayer. However, the trust is aware that achieving this is dependent on the actions of third parties outside the BBC's control. It was a condition of approval for the BBC's on-demand services that platform neutrality be achieved within a reasonable period.

The Trust will audit the BBC's progress against this objective every six months and publish its findings. The trust welcomed the OSC's offer of help to establish an open-source, cross-platform solution, and offered to facilitate a meeting between the OSC and BBC management. The trust will meet the OSC again after the first six-monthly review of progress.

The iPlayer is due to launch on 27 July. ®

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