The Sony PAL argument
"I feel your example of a Sony TV is a poor one (actually childish is closer to my opinion). How about the BBC are hindering accessability as they insist on using PAL rather than NTSC. "
If the BBC insisted we used a standard like PAL then I wouldn't really have a problem. Any TV manufacturer can adopt the standard, make TV sets, and I can buy one. It doesn't have to be a Sony one.
If the BBC hired some Sony guys and then adopted a HD Freeview format that required we used a Sony protocol that was only licensed to Sony machines then I'd have to buy a Sony TV set.
If the BBC said that the most popular TV set was Sony and it would work without them having to buy a new set, it would be nice for them, but it would force everyone else to buy a Sony as well.
When I decide to get a new set, guess what, I shall get a Sony. It may well be that other makes are no longer in the shops - after all, who'd want them when the BBC go HD digital?
Thus, Sony corner the entire UK market.
But a few OpenSourceSet users say 'hey, our sets are better than Sony's overpriced ones' and the BBC say that they are too unpopular. And the Sony TV owners say 'stop whinging, get a Sony'.
And the Sony users would have missed the point *again*. If they used the OpenSourceSet then Sony users would still have HD freeview. Along with Toshiba, and Sanyo and Bush and Goodmans... everyone would have HD Freeview. No new TVs needed. No need to pay Sony anything.
So, why didn't the BBC use OpenSourceSet? Because they desperately wanted a Sony solution. The executives had come from Sony, after all.
By allowing Linux, or Mac, to work in the beginning they are not making it more difficult for Windows users, they are making it easier.
For instance, ACER might do their fast-bootup PC that goes direct into iPlayer, or you might watch iplayer on your ipaq/HTC, or in your google android device. Windows users don't lose out, they get the benefits along with everyone else.
Of course, the BBC don't need to write iplayer for the iPaq and your TVFridge, they just need to adopt the standard and anyone can write their own iplayer. The BBC *save* money as the iplayer is improved - speeded up, less resources, different qualities, downloads at off-peak times etc. And just like Firefox, Windows users benefit from free programs that work on everything.
And DRM? Can DRM exist outside of Windows? Of course it can, only it'd be safer. Why hasn't it been done? It probably has, only we're not aware of it because of the chicken/egg situation.
Personally, I wish the MS apologists would wake up and realise the potential of a world where things work on non-MS approved hardware.. and help do their bit by not apologising for everything that is *designed* to lock us into the shoddy MS world.