More on AP's Microsoft-only video service

Mark Glaser, who has moved over to PBS, has some more thoughts on the new AP Video service being unavailable outside the Microsoft world. He quotes some discussion from the online-news email list and has attracted some feedback, much of which gets at that old Microsoft. vs. Apple feud. Here's what I posted in response:

I don't think it's possible to discuss anything in which Microsoft is involved without bringing in a discussion of Microsoft's business practices, strategies and ethics. This isn't about incompetency in coding; it's about Microsoft purposefully tying media availability to its technology platform strategy (i.e., force an all-Microsoft world).

It may be that Apple would do the same thing if they could.

But I don't care about Microsoft vs. Apple.

I care about maintaining an open, level playing field in which anyone can publish and anyone can consume. We are all suspicious of government encroachment on press and speech freedoms. We need to be equally on guard against encroachment by giant multinational corporate interests.

I understand why AP took the route it did -- not to conspire against Mac owners, but to get a service up and running quickly, with an ad sales partner (MSN) whose ability to sell the network is known. Unfortunately, AP now is entangled in Microsoft's business practices.

I've recommended that my company sign the AP deal and deploy on our websites. But I'm doing so with a bad taste in my mouth, and with a reliance on AP's verbal promise to push Microsoft to open the service to open, standards-compliant Web browsers.

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