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Netflix: ‘No Change in our plans for Linux’

Movie streaming company Netflix have once again reiterated that have no plans to support Linux anytime soon.

This news won’t surprise many: the company announced earlier this year that they had ‘no plans’ to support Linux.

But since that time things haven’t gone smoothly for the company.

Profits Falling

Netflix posted a 91% profits drop during the second quarter of this year (April – June 2012). A total that compounded on their $4.6 million loss during the first quarter of 2012.

With such turbulent financial forecasts of late, OMG! Ubuntu! writer Benjamin Kerensa reached out of the company to see whether there was any change in their position with regards to Linux.

After all the more people who can access your service the more potential customers you have.

This wasn’t the sentitment echoed by Joris Evers, Director of Corporate Communications at Netflix. In an e-mail exchange with Benjamin he said that there was to be ‘no change’ in the company’s approach to the issue of Netflix on Linux.

The Issue

So what’s actually stopping Netflix from being able to work on Linux? Microsoft.

Okay, it’s not actually Microsoft’s fault per se, but the streaming service uses Microsoft’s  proprietary (and dying) Silverlight plugin for playback. And as Microsoft don’t provide a Linux-version of their Silverlight client we are at the situation we’re at.

Or are we?

Whilst the desktop-browser based versions of Netflix do require Silverlight (mainly because the ‘PlayReady’ DRM lets Netflix feel in control), the Android and iOS apps don’t. And, perhaps most notable, neither does the ChromeOS plugin.

When the technology is clearly already available, and demand is there, one wonders what the real reasons behind the hold-up are…

Ubuntu TV

Netflix is the worlds most popular on-demand streaming service for films and TV series, claiming to have in the region of 500million subscribers worldwide.

But whilst it may be the most used it’s also the least liked. An opinion shared with a number of Linux users who feel ignored by the streaming giant.

The dream of seeing Netflix support baked into Ubuntu TV remains, for now, a dream.

With thanks to Benjamin Kerensa