Stephen Fry recently wrote about his frustration with the Microsoft bias within the BBC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2008/07/apple_backlash.html

Stephen Fry very eloquently echoed the call of all technology enthusiasts; that the BBC we pay for should accurately reflect the fact that while Microsoft’s much hyped, rarely substantiated claim of 90% market share is all well and good, it isn’t an excuse to ignore the millions of people represented in the remaining 10% who last used a Microsoft product through choice in the early 1990’s and never again since.

Stephen Fry is highlighting a great frustration many people who simply enjoy well made tech products feel, as we loath poorly conceived ones, that the BBC seems to have an in-built resistance to reporting the facts on any product which works outside of the Microsoft ecosystem.

There is a self-fulfilling prophesy in assuming BBC news on-line readers are in the main using Microsoft’s products – and yet there’s barely a week goes by without another virus warning story on the front page of the BBC news website – yet very few of these stories so much as mention the fact that “viruses” are actually better described as exploits which only affect certain applications, which more often than not run exclusively on Microsoft’s Windows – such as the Internet Explorer browser.

Anyone reading these stories who runs Linux or OS X, or even Firefox on Windows, is left feeling talked down to, while people who rely on the BBC to spell out for them the real risk to the consumer, posed by using off-the-shelf Microsoft software, are painted a picture of villainous “hackers”, targeting everyone who uses a computer – regardless of the mysterious 1s and 0s which lurk on it’s hard drive.

2 comments on “Stephen Fry recently wrote about his frustration with the Microsoft bias within the BBC

  1. You just wonder how the next generation will laugh themselves silly at how backward the Beeb, and all these bozos, are now. History is full of stories about people who doubted daVinci,Edison, and all those troublesome folk. What the hell is it in the human that RESISTS change?

  2. I do think there are certain kinds of change the BBC is good to resist, as Fry points out in his speech. No one want the BBC to be just one long menu of “content”, there has to be some context too. This is the part Rupert Murdoch’s Sky TV gets so deeply wrong – it’s not that they don’t have some great things going for them (sports coverage in the UK was basically terrible before Sky Sports revolutionised football) it’s just that they have no good taste about it.

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