The BBC's iPlayer online TV download service should be made available to users of all operating systems "as soon as possible", says the UK Government.

The Government has responded to a petition calling for the BBC's iPlayer - currently useable only with Windows XP, WMP 10.0 and IE 6.0 - to be made available to computers using all operating systems, including the Mac OS and Windows Vista.

BBC iPlayer as popular as Apple iTunes

The Government instructed the BBC Trust, set up to represent the interests of licence fee payers, to ensure that the correct degree of scrutiny had been given to the proposal for the BBC iPlayer service. The Trust conducted a Public Value Test into iPlayer, that included a public consultation and a market impact assessment by Ofcom.

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.

"They will measure the BBC's progress on this every six months and publish the findings," said the Government.