Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Microsoft and the BBC: A letter of Complaint

Homer's picture

The following is an actual letter (Email) of complaint, that I've just sent to the BBC. I don't think any further introduction is necessary, as it speaks for itself:

Update: show your support for this issue at

Dear Sir/Madam,

I wish to complain about the article entitled "A quick tour around Windows Vista", which was published on the BBC website, and to voice a general concern regarding your relationship with Microsoft - a company subject to antitrust investigations in the EU, and previously in the US.

The basis for my complaint is that this article amounts to little more than an advertisement on behalf of Microsoft, does not represent a fair and balanced view of that product, and as such constitutes an unfair bias by the BBC towards one of its known business associates.

As you may already be aware, there has been a considerable volume of criticism levelled against Microsoft's new Operating System, Windows Vista, much of which comes from sources normally loyal to Microsoft, and as such should be taken seriously.

I cite the following examples:

There are many, many more; indeed the Web is riddled with such criticisms.

Yet at no point in the BBC article is there any mention of these criticisms, and in fact there are no negative points raised at all, which is very surprising, considering the very large number of issues that have already been reported. In fact, other than the BBC article, it is very nearly impossible to find any positive reviews or previews of Windows Vista anywhere.

My concern is that the BBC may be in breach of its own Charter, by showing reporting bias to a business associate. It is now widely known that the BBC has a close working relationship with Microsoft, as detailed in this article here:

However, there was a time when Damion Yates, team leader of Internet operations at BBC Technology, was singing the praises of Open Source technology, something which has been described by Microsoft as "a cancer":

I think you can see there is an obvious conflict of interests here, and it could be argued that Microsoft has somehow persuaded the BBC to disengage in any activities involving Open Source technology in favour of Microsoft products, by way of some clandestine deal.

In fact, Microsoft has very recently been accused of similar activities, involving Bloggers, offering them free computer hardware in return for favourable reviews of Windows Vista, as detailed in this article:

As a publicly funded corporation, accountable to its subscribers, I feel it would be prudent, under the circumstances, for the BBC to publish an official statement regarding its current relationship with Microsoft (full disclosure); publish an updated article on Windows Vista of a more balanced nature; and restate its position on Open Source technology, with particular reference to any cost analysis (if any) which was undertaken prior to signing an agreement with Microsoft.

It might also be prudent for the BBC to reevaluate the accessibility of its Website. Many of your readers, using Non-Microsoft Operating Systems, will not have legitimate access to the technology necessary to use Windows specific features, as and when you implement those proprietary standards, such as patent encumbered Windows Media.

Thank you.