The answer to the BBC iPlayer 's lack of multi-platform compatibility could lie with another Microsoft technology - Silverlight . That's what's been suggested in a thought-provoking piece over at Digital Lifestyles .

The BBC is to launch a Windows XP version of the player tomorrow, but the Mac and Linux brigades have been hassling the BBC in recent weeks, demanding to know when their platforms will be supported. So far the BBC is sticking to its earlier BBC Trust- endorsed statement that it is planning to support other platforms (including Vista) as soon as possible.

Vista's DRM tech is different from that used in XP. And as the cornerstone of the project, DRM support is the problem. It's also the issue on the Mac, where Windows Media DRM is not currently an option.

Digital Lifestyles suggests that Silverlight could be the answer, giving the Beeb the possibility of playing back DRM-protected content on other platforms.

Silverlight 1.1

The site quotes a "Microsoft insider" who says that Silverlight 1.1 (available in 2008) will play back DRM-protected content on the PC and the Mac. There's just one 'small' problem then - the encoding.

See our feature for more: Hi-ho Silverlight