Last night's BBC broadcast in which TV hack Alvin Hall declared Microsoft's Bill Gates the most powerful computer mogul has generated a storm of protest from Apple CEO Steve Jobs' followers.

An online poll on the BBC website clearly shows that UK people who know about technology disagree with Hall: Of 4,115 votes cast so far, 78 per cent of voters believe Jobs to be the most powerful.

Hall said: "I will agree with anyone that Steve Jobs and Apple create products that are beautiful and elegant to use."

Despite that assertion, the BBC journalist said: "But Bill Gates' software is everywhere. It's throughout our daily lives, therefore extending his power."

Microsoft has been convicted of monopolistic practices by the US courts, and it appears likely the European Commission will also judge the company monopolistic with regard to the way it extends its market dominance into the server and multimedia industries.

The BBC broke the new millennium with the decision to abandon its previously available QuickTime content feed, in favour of proprietary multimedia software from RealNetworks – and Microsoft.

The BBC website also contains a huge number of comments in which viewers disagree with Hall's decision, for example this comment from TV viewer Rebecca Sutcliffe: "In my opinion, Steve Jobs is far more powerful than Bill Gates as whatever Apple does, Microsoft follows. Alvin appeared to leave quite a lot of background information out which in my opinion is pertinent to this issue."

Others comment on a major factual inaccuracy contained within the broadcast, which claims Jobs and wife Laurene are vegetarians. Jobs is, in fact, a vegan.