The government has issued a formal response to the e-petition on the Downing Street website that raised the issue about the video on demand service from the BBC, the iPlayer, only being offered for the Windows XP platform.

The petition statement read: "We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to prevent the BBC from making its iPlayer on-demand television service available to Windows users only, and instruct the corporation to provide its service for other operating systems also".

The petition - initiated by the Open Source Consortium, collected 16,071 signatures from folk unhappy about not being able to use the free service, funded by the license fee, on Windows Vista, Linux-based or Mac computers - helped to prompt a BBC Trust investigation.

The government's response reads: "The BBC Trust has responsibility for ensuring that the correct degree of scrutiny is given to all proposals from the BBC Executive for new services (such as the iPlayer) and any significant changes to existing services".

"To fulfill this duty, the Trust conducted a Public Value Test on the BBC Executive’s proposals to launch new on-demand services, including BBC iPlayer."

"This included a public consultation and a market impact assessment by Ofcom. In the case of the iPlayer, following the consultation, the Trust noted the strong public demand for the service to be available on a variety of operating systems."

"The BBC Trust made it a condition of approval for the BBC’s on-demand services that the iPlayer is available to users of a range of operating systems, and has given a commitment that it will ensure that the BBC meets this demand as soon as possible."

It's doubtful that the "as soon as possible" timescale will satisfy those unhappy with the service's narrow remit. The BBC had previously stated it hoped to have a Mac version ready this autumn.