Feeds

Microsoft licenses media player to RealNetworks

Not a reformed Redmond, just using different tactics

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Spin was well to the fore when Microsoft announced it had licensed its Windows Media Player technology, free of charge, to its rival RealNetworks, but although Microsoft itself is trying to present the move positively, it's arguably more of a surrender than a victory. Despite what RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser was claiming last year as Microsoft's determined efforts to break it, RealNetwork's RealPlayer is the industry leader. If you don't count MP3, that is. At an unfortunate time in the antitrust spat (but is there ever a fortunate one?) Glaser accused Microsoft of breaking his software, unfairly channeling users to its own software, and trying to do shady, behind the scenes deals. The usual stuff, basically, and it's a testimony to Rob's lack of diplomatic and tactical skills that his complaints were so inexpertly presented that they bounced off. Whatever, now RealNetworks has the Media Player licence it will be able to have its player deal with Microsoft's format as well as the others it can handle, whereas Microsoft's player does not at the moment handle RealPlayer format. This is not necessarily positive for Microsoft, unless it's winning the format wars. The company has cited Media Metrix stats indicating that Windows Media Player was the most widely-used multimedia player in US households in December, but this is of course not the same as saying Microsoft's format was the most widely-used. And that's the crux of the matter. It's the format and associated deals with media companies that are important to Microsoft, and under the circumstances it probably isn't smart to use the usual (allegedly...) methods to leverage it into the market. And in this context you could maybe view Glaser's loud whistle-blowing as a smart move after all. So leverage the format itself instead, and make life easier for yourself by making it possible for RealNetworks to handle it? It's maybe good anti-antitrust propaganda too, albeit a little late. But there's still that MP3 problem... ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.