internet explorer 8
The success of BBCiplayer cannot be denied and for UK residents who want to catch up (or indeed explore) the wealth of content the BBC offers online it really is a great service. Relying on Flash I am a regular viewer of the BBCiplayer with its smooth perfomance and decent quality (even on the lowest quality setting)
ITV on the otherhand went the Silverlight route which instantly made it unavailable for anyone running Linux (I wouldnt know if there was Moonlight compat since I, like many Linux users refused to put it on their system) ITV’s decision was strange because unlike the BBC which is publically funded, ITV relies on its advertising revenue to pay the bills and surely wants to appeal to the largest audience possible.
I had often wondered why ITV had opted for the Silverlight route and can’t help asking the question “Did ITV get some reward by forcing it down the online community?” – That can be answered another time because the good news is, without any large celebration or shouting ITV has ditched Silverlight in favour of Flash, not only making their material open to even more users but another blow for the company that wants you to do everything their way (Microsoft).
There are other questions in regards to the move that need to be answered such as was the move as a result of complaints from potential users or was it as a result of pressure by advertisers? or indeed something else entirely.
An ITV spokesperson is reported to have said:
ITV can confirm it has switched from Microsoft’s Silverlight to Adobe Flash to support the ITV Player on ITV.com.
and there are also interesting views from other users in respect of this, one comment which caught my eye was in regards to the “standards compliant” IE8:
What I’ve found is that I can see the programmes available using Firefox and Opera using Flash Player v10.0.32.18 (which is the lates version), however I can’t get anything using IE 8.
Is this a double whammy for Microsoft? If the comment is accurate then it seems a little ironic that the ITV site was “off limits” to many non Silverlight users is now off limits to IE8? The above comment can be found here.
The site www.flashstreamworks.com had this to say in regards to the move:
ITV, owner of the UK’s largest commercial television channel in terms of audience share and advertising revenue, had been using Silverlight since the launch of the service, but if the ITV forums and other reports are anything to go by, the use of Silverlight had certainly caused frustration for many visitors to the site trying to use ITV Player.
You can visit the ITVplayer here: http://www.itv.com
Goblin – email@example.com
Its being reported on many sites that Windows 7 allows the removal of IE8 from its environment. Whilst this news may sound great and in the spirit of the “anti-trust” claims against it, I feel it will do little to appease the EU and the whole purpose of the ruling.
Assuming that IE7 is an intergral part of Windows 7 (like Vista) then the absence of IE8 makes little difference since Microsoft is still bundling IE with Windows and this is the root cause of the EU issue with Microsoft (IMO)
So whats the solution? First, whilst it may shock some readers, Im not actually in favour of this anti-trust sillyness. Anyone from the UK will know first hand what happened when we saw similar “ruling” in relation to Utilities. Confusion, incorrect bills were just the tip of the iceberg and IMO the fair competition in which it was trying to promote actually was detrimental to the consumer.
Moving on, this week saw an article on Microsoft investors being rather disgruntled about Microsoft direction, read about it at the excellent Boycott Novell site.
And to add to Microsoft woes, it is also being reported that the UK government has failed to agree a deal with Microsoft (which apparently expired last year) With the UK government talking about Open Source, is this a sign of change? Read the article here.
I wont touch on Microsofts Silverlight issues as I think theyve had more than enough bad news in one post for today, but expect a follow up article shortly on angry Silverlight users.
Goblin – firstname.lastname@example.org