After just four months in charge of web TV joint venture Project Kangaroo, ex-BBC tech chief Ashley Highfield has quit for a new job at Microsoft UK. The launch of Project Kangaroo, which will offer shows from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, has been forestalled by scrutiny from competition authorities. Rivals including Sky and …
"culture of commitees and waste
that saw... development take several years and run millions over-budget"
Sounds like he's perfectly qualified for MS.
.he has reached that level where ones abilities no longer matter and one just breezes from one high paid job to another and none of ones peer group ever criticizes what you have left behind (at least not publicly)
Where do I sign?
"Open source advocates also accused him of being too close to Microsoft.."
Well it looks like they might have been right after all doesn't it.
He always did work for Microsoft
...but was officially on the BBC's payroll. See this naive article on the BBC's News site in March 2006:
Highfield (and by extension the BBC) being used by Gates to push the hitherto-unreleased Vista using a smoke-and-mirrors iPlayer (then known as iMP). This was early days before the corporation got the smacking it deserved about platform/vendor neutrality. The ironic thing is that when the iPlayer officially launched over a year later, and Vista had been out for some time, it specifically did not work with Vista - only XP.
Hopefully this will mean an end to the BBC's ridiculously pro-MS attitude in all things technological.
Kangaroo's DOA anyway
Kangaroo was going to be DOA anyway, even ignoring the regulatory issues. In fact it's like most of the rest of the UK HypeyTV market... but that's another story for another day.
Tony Bliar's "Broadband Britain" (born 2002?) is near enough dead in the water (where Tony should be?).
In the urban areas, competition from LLU operators and cable makes high speed broadband (>8Mbit) both affordable and available (at least to some, if you're in a cable street or have a short phone line). But if you have cable who needs Kangaroo, and if you don't have cable, your LLU broadband is supplied by useless cowboys like Orange, Sky, and TalkTalk (OK there's Be/O2 as well... there's always one :)). Now, can anyone explain to me: why would a supplier offering "free" broadband want to encourage lots of extra traffic, which incurs big extra costs without any matching increase in revenue? 'Cos that's Kangaroo, that is. Like iPlayer, but more so.
Outside the LLU/cable urban areas, ISPs based on BTwholesale are usually the only choice (wireless and even the wonder-miracle powerline having conspicuously failed to make any visible showing in 99% of the UK).
But leaving BTwholesale to monopolise these expensive-to-serve areas means (a) they'll be way behind the times, even if BT's much over hyped 21CN does ever finish its technical rollout (b) it'll be so expensive and so bandwidth-limited (because it's a BT monopoly and Ofcon will still be asleep) that Kangaroo-class applications in volume would be unaffordable and impractical.
Mind you, I'm not sure our former Beeb former Kangaroo man will be any better off in the consumer division at MS just at the moment. Obviously he thinks he will be - but seemingly the man who succeeded him at the Beeb thinks different - he came from MS to the BBC!
Pirates don't need Kangaroo; they just need cheap high speed bandwidth.
Tie me kangaroo down, sport...
...no worries, cobbers, there'll be another entertainingly-named project along in five minutes or so.
Not necessarily with ITV though - too much belt-tightening going on. (It'd make me feel much better about that, BTW, if I could tighten it around a couple of executive necks...*)
*joke stolen from the great prophet Hicks, may his name be praised forever.