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January 11, 2006

Microsoft drops Windows Media Player for Mac

Posted by David Hunter at 7:29 PM ET.

Lately it’s been a mix of good news and bad news from Microsoft for Mac users. While they finally pulled the plug on the decrepit Internet Explorer for Macintosh, they just committed to new versions of Office for Mac. Now Ed Oswald at BetaNews reports that Microsoft Quietly Ditches WMP for Mac:

Despite pledging its support for Apple’s platform, Microsoft has backed out of future releases of Windows Media Player for Mac, and the company’s Web site now directs visitors to download a third-party application from developer Flip4Mac.

Flip4Mac develops Windows Media Components for QuickTime, an add-in for Apple’s multimedia player. According to press release on its Web site, it appears as if the Windows Media division at Microsoft has given the company its full blessing to become the standard-bearer for Mac-based Windows Media playback.

Sources tell BetaNews that Microsoft has taken a different approach toward dealing with the Mac platform in recent months. Key developers in the Macintosh Business Unit at Microsoft have been reassigned elsewhere, such as the MSN unit, and the company has plans to slowly exit the consumer side of the business.

“If there is a MacBU scaleback, it adds new perspective to yesterday’s Microsoft Mac commitment. Soon, Office and Messenger may be the only Mac products offered by Microsoft, because of their appeal to bigger businesses,” commented Jupiter Research senior analyst Joe Wilcox.

There’s more by following the link including some lagging version support problems for Flip4Mac, but apparently it’s an improvement over the Windows Media Player for Mac which had a less than sterling reputation. Privately held Telestream is the owner of the Flip4Mac brand. Their press release is here. No financial terms were disclosed.

Update 01/12: Further details at CNET.

Filed under Apple, Coopetition, DRM, Digital Media, Internet Explorer, Media Player, Office, Office for Mac, Technologies

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