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Update on a Microsoft-loving BBC (Now Grilled in the Parliament)

Posted in Apple, Deception, DRM, Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Vista, Windows at 11:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“If you agree that Windows is a huge asset, then it follows quickly that we are not investing sufficiently in finding ways to tie IE and Windows together.”

Jim Allchin, top Microsoft executive

During the weekend we intend to publish a fairly comprehensive coverage of issues that surround government establishments in the United Kingdom. Many of them are directly or indirectly controlled by Microsoft and concrete evidence of this cannot escape without comment. In the mean time, further to our recent coverage of the BBC fiasco, some action appears to be have finally been taken:

BBC Director General grilled by MPs on iPlayer


During the meeting there is discussion of iPlayer’s total cost to the licence fee-payer – the BBC representatives are unable to give a figure, but start the bidding at £20m, excluding staff costs. Thomson gives incorrect information – that Mac and Linux versions of iPlayer have the same functionality as Windows versions – and has to change his evidence at the end. Perhaps it was this confusion that prompted Dr John Pugh MP to follow up the encounter with a letter direct to Mark Thomson today discussing platform neutrality in greater detail. A copy of this letter has been passed to the Open Rights Group.

The BBC is not alone. The British Library and now the Library of Congress (reported yesterday) fell into the very same trap of platform discrimination. They have become what FSFE once referred to as "agents of monopolisation".

More on this will certainly come within a few days because there is more such stuff than we can capably cover given time limitations. Another item in the pipeline is about the use of Exchange 2007 as a tool of browser and platform discrimination. The folks at Redmond seem desperate for new lock-ins and they use government- or state-owned bodies to spread venom like Silverlight (.NET) and Microsoft/Windows DRM. Open standards and real cross-platform solutions hurt them dearly.

Further references, for those who do not know what this has to do with Novell:

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  1. Stephane Rodriguez said,

    January 12, 2008 at 5:35 am


    Of interest is the fact that some BBC execs are ex-Microsoft employees, most notably the guys running the BBC DRM thing. You can look that up with Google.

    That’s what I hate most : ex-Microsoft employees joining clients to drive money to Microsoft. This effectively makes them proxies. I’m sure the Novell proxy pales in comparison in sales numbers.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 12, 2008 at 5:53 am


    Yes, that would be several people including Erik Huggers, for example, who was even part of Microsoft antitrust case in Europe (Windows Media Player abuses). Isn’t that a ‘smoking gun’?

    As we have demonstarted before, it’s just one example among many more. For instance, the guy who manages National Archives (that’s a matter of national assets, mind you) is also _at present_ a manager or something at Microsoft (I’d have to look up the details again). This isn’t just happening in the UK. As we’ve shown recently, Stephane, it’s the same situation in France as well as many (all?) parts of the world. Where public money is concerned, there is simply no place for such abuse (some would say “corruption”).

    About Novell, see this.

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