YouView is almost ready to be launched onto the public, a public that is unlikely to have even ever heard of YouView. Even if they have they may no longer want or need it. Still, public trials, no matter how small they are, is a good starting point.Canvas Becomes YouViewProject Kangaroo became Project Canvas became YouView. In the meantime, while the BBC and others were spending too long working out every little detail of a joint streaming venture, smart TVs became common, set-top boxes grew in number and popularity, and games consoles began offering streaming services.YouView Becomes Pointless?YouView is this week being tested in 350 British homes in what is being called an alpha trial phase. If successful a beta trial phase will be started, with YouView then being rolled out to thousands of people for broader testing.These trials are all well and good but YouView isn’t a charity. Once it finally goes on sale the YouView set-top boxes are expected to cost around £200 ($310). Making some money back is important, with the BBC having plowed £6 million ($10 million) of license fee-payers’ money into the initiative over the last three years.Unfortunately a date to make YouView commercially available hasn’t yet been set. Some believe that if it isn’t out in time for the 2012 Olympics (which is looking highly unlikely) that the whole thing should be written off as a failure.ConclusionsI was keen on YouView for a time, and project canvas before that. But I’m now starting to side with the doom-mongers suggesting that this is too little, too late. Even with Alan Sugar in charge.From a personal point of view this device won’t offer me anything beyond what I already have with a PS3 games console and Freeview+ box, but then I suppose I’m more tech-savvy than the average British consumer.The problem I see with YouView is that the people who it will be targeted at are the very people likely to have already bought similar devices. Those without Freeview or the means to watch streaming television either live or on demand are unlikely to spend hundreds of pounds on a product they clearly don’t want or need.