The BBC chief in charge of the company's iPlayer TV show catch-up service technology doesn't think criticism of the service's Windows-only status is fair.

Speaking to, the BBC's head of the Future Media and Technology unit, Ashley Highfield, reacted to criticism of the Windows-only service.

He said: "It would be understandable if we'd only ever intended to launch an XP-only iPlayer but that was never the plan. When we launch services we will always try to get to the largest part of that universe. The PC universe is the largest part of that. It was just the starting point."

He stressed that a Flash-based streaming version of the service will be available for Mac and Linux users by Christmas, but would not commit to a time-frame for making download versions of iPlayer available for both platforms. Windows users can anticipate Flash-based streaming as well as their existing download service this side of 2007.

Highfield did admit that he hopes to introduce an iPlayer download service for Mac and Linux computers "at some point in 2008", but the solutions used to deliver such a service haven't yet been tested.

Highfield also confessed to being "a deep lover of Macs", an iTunes (and a Zune) user, and admitted to owning an iPod touch, which he purchased in New York before the product shipped in the UK.

"I have affinity with stuff that's just really well built, well designed and works well - not any particular manufacturer," he said.