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Last Updated: Friday, 7 September 2007, 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK
Government backs Trust on iPlayer
Downing Street door, BBC
The government said the iPlayer would be cross-platform as "soon as possible"
The UK government has responded to an electronic petition that called on it to ensure the BBC's iPlayer works on non-Windows PCs.

More than 16,000 people have signed the petition since it was created.

In its response, the government said the BBC Trust had made it a condition of launching the iPlayer that it worked with other operating systems.

The iPlayer on-demand TV service lets people catch up with BBC programmes by downloading them via the net.

Critical call

Launched on 27 July the iPlayer currently only works with Microsoft's Windows XP operating system.

The decision to launch on Windows XP has been subject to strong criticism which led to the creation of the electronic petition in June 2007.

The BBC Trust has committed to making sure the BBC would meet calls for non-Windows versions of the iPlayer "as soon as possible" said the government statement.

It added: "[The BBC Trust] will measure the BBC's progress on this every six months and publish the findings."

The BBC has said that a Mac version of the iPlayer will be released in the autumn followed by versions for Windows Vista and mobile gadgets.

The BBC Trust was the body the government created to look after the interests of licence payers, said the statement.

As well as an e-petition calling for cross-platform versions of the iPlayer, the BBC has also faced criticism from organisations such as the Open Source Consortium (OSC).

This group wants to see versions of the iPlayer that work with open source software such as Linux. The OSC has had meetings with the BBC Trust to discuss its views.

Since a trial version of the iPlayer was launched in the BBC has been gradually signing up more people to test the Windows version of the software. A full launch is expected in the autumn.

Those using the iPlayer can get at BBC TV programmes broadcast in the last seven days and watch them, once saved, at any time during the next 30 days.

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