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Microsoft

Microsoft Plans Media Player for Linux? 337

theancient1 writes "According to this article, Microsoft is considering releasing a Linux version of Windows Media Player. 'Paul Boudreau, Microsoft's programme manager for music and entertainment, said at a briefing on the software giant's plans for digital media: We see a need for Unix players and are working in that direction, including Linux.' Of course, a little quote is quite a bit different from actually seeing a product, but it's still not exactly expected."
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Microsoft Plans Media Player for Linux?

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  • Which did not work at all.
  • by *borktheork* ( 123647 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2000 @05:52AM (#1315646)
    This is going to be a really predictable thread.. Yadayadayada, it won't be open source, yadayadayada. Assimilation. Blablabla.

    Just see if I'm wrong.
  • Maybe Microsoft is worried that someone will reverse-engineer their streaming media format trying to make a Linux WM player and then publish their DeWM under the GPL. :)

    kwsNI
  • by BilldaCat ( 19181 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2000 @05:54AM (#1315649) Homepage
    (insert random comment of getting moderated down for not bashing MS)

    I'll take any media players I can get for Linux.. I don't really care who's writing it, I think it's important that if Windows Media Player does gain enough share over Real, that there is a way to still play media on Linux.

  • Before Linux, Macintosh. For both, however, DRM. And given the RIAA actions against the mp3 sites, I find this the most interesting. It appears to put two giants in head to head competition - with the winner being us.
  • For like years those guys had a link on their Media Player page to some kind of "Beta" version of a Linux player that for all reports (never tried it myself) was very half-hearted and half-assed, just so they could say they were "multiplatform." It's just FUD, misdirection, propaganda, bandwagoning, whatever....

    -=-=-=-=-

  • In the past they've also seen a demand for IE on Unix...

    But Unix didn't mean Linux and the product quality wasn't comparable to the windows version at all.
  • by jTurbo ( 35048 ) <me@anyg[ ].com ['ard' in gap]> on Tuesday February 01, 2000 @05:58AM (#1315655) Homepage
    This is the old vaporware trick all over again. M$ are affraid a good OSS video viewer will emerge on Linux. Thus they announce an upcoming version of the MediaPlayer so no one will bother to write/perfect an OSS version.

    All mistakes in spelling and grammar are licensed under the GPL.
  • It would be good, if it works, I have asf files I need to play, and netshow did nothing...

    But then again, if you poke around Microsoft's web site, you can find a place that says a Unix version of media player will be out in a couple of weeks! Of course, it's said this since early '98. So I wouldn't get your hopes up that they are working hard on this, they may be doing what they did in another FAQ, telling people to use microsoft servers because soon every OS will be able to play asf, because the ports are 'coming soon'.

    All this said, if they do release it and it is passably ok, I won't have much use for windows anymore, and I would be happy.
  • Could it be that someone in Microsoft really Sees The Light (TM) and understands that I'm not going to switch OS because of a video clip player? So that if they want me as their market share, they'd make player for my favorite OS. Not a big lot of concept, but somehow it's too obscure for most managers.
  • by Leigh13 ( 96452 ) <leigh13 AT hotmail DOT com> on Tuesday February 01, 2000 @05:59AM (#1315658)

    To quote the article:

    However, Boudreau said that the Apple Macintosh was more important today because it is used for "relevant content creation", and he confirmed that Media Player for the Mac would have digital rights management (DRM) software built-in.

    Microsoft has never really acknowleged any competition from Apple--after all, there isn't much of a server market for Macs. Therefore, it doesn't seem too surprising that they might port a software product over to the Mac platform.

    However, Microsoft has admitted Linux to be a major competitor and cause of concern. Can we really expect them to begin porting softare to run under *nix?

    This is beginning to look similar to AT&T before they were split up. As Bell Labs was making lots of money selling circuits to MCI and Sprint, the long distance division was struggling to come up with new ways to squash those other companies. It shouldn't be long before Microsoft is doing the same--developing software for Linux, while simultaneously trying to keep the OS from taking over their precious NT Server market.

    Personally, I am very interested to see where this leads.

  • THere probably is ging to be a lot of Anti-Microsoft argument here on this thread. But this move by them could be a positive thing. Firstly it is recognition which could work to the communities advantage. Most of the world relies on Microsoft production at the workdesk and will not move to Linux (or toehr OS's) until Microsoft start creating products for it. Whether or not this is sound practice is another story, but use of office (for instance) is pretty much a self fulfilling dream for MS as people use it because it is used elsewhere. If MS start making products for Linux it should help increase it's legetimace in the workplace and thus give it footholds where it may not have been. Anyway, jsut a few thoughts on the fly.
  • /* begin wishful thinking

    MicroSoft released the relevant protocols and allowed the community build their own player(s)!

    end wishful thinking */
  • Okay, great, let Micros~1 release a player for linux. Its admirable that they realize it isn't going to disapear and might have a piece of a market they wish to capture (for digital media).
    It would be nice however if, instead of just releasing a closed source binary for x86 they either:

    a) released the source (ha yeh right)

    or b) released binaries at least for Alpha, G4, x86 and Sparc



    Colleen:Its a black-hole.
    Hunter:Is that a good thing?
    C:It is if you want to be compressed into oblivion.
    H:Oh.. coooool.
  • Maybe Microsoft is worried that someone will reverse-engineer their streaming media format trying to make a Linux WM player and then publish their DeWM under the GPL.

    Why would they be worried? They could just sue the author and them arrested. This is the New World Order, you know!

    Seriously, though, you're probably right. If they are going to be the dominant force in streaming media, they need to support all platforms. And I suppose that they figure it would be better to have an official release, rather than have the Linux users use some hacked client (no offense to people who do hack these sorts of things)

    ~~~~~~~~~
    auntfloyd
  • by Nodatadj ( 28279 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2000 @06:01AM (#1315664) Journal
    Well, so long as it actually works, and isn't just a token gesture, that someone on the WM team decided to do over their lunch break, and just so long as it doesn't try to do anything funny, like send MS a list of all my files, or what I'm reading etc...
  • Has anybody else noticed that MS continues to say that they are going to release software/clients for *nix desktop. First it was Office then it was a window manager, now Media Player. I'm pretty sure they think that we are stupid, and don't realize that they haven't released anything. Everything is talk, just so we will slow down our efforts at reverse enginneering there technology. I say that we continue to work hard at reverse enginneering and that we show them, that weather or not they want it, we will use thier propritery standards. But this isn't going to happen without a few causalties. I for one plan on working as hard as I can to try to force them on releasing there software for *nix.

    P.S.
    Does anybody remember the name of Microsoft's Unix, that was released either late 70's or early 80's?
  • There was recently a post about how if Microsoft did not release its Media Player for Linux it could possibly hurt Linux as Micrsoft was continueing to give out its programs for free for future profits, and destroying Real Player's portion of the market. Though there is still no written plans for Media player for the linux operating system (that I have seen), is it that Microsoft sees that cornering the streaming media market as something more important then a chance to lower linux's ability to compete with windows?

    I say Yes! plan on it coming out sometime within the next 6 months and within 2 years expect the server portion of the streaming multimedia program to no longer be free. (there is a price for everything).
  • Microsoft working on something for Linux users? Why is it suddenly so cold here in Hell? I thought Microsoft was stolid in their proprietary OS (awful as it is). Perhaps great things are ahead. Perhaps not, but even so, maybe we might we even see a (perish the thought) Microsoft Unix clone. Hmmm, what would they call it? Microsux? Damn pigs, they're getting hard to duck.
  • by Sarin ( 112173 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2000 @06:03AM (#1315668) Homepage Journal
    Remember the story about the Trojan horse?

    "install media player as root" then the program totally messes up the system, for "optimalisation" purposes.. next thing you know your system is as buggy as a smartupdated version of win98.

    Guess who will be the big winner?...

    Cool initiave though.. :)


    Regards,

  • Maybe this is Microsoft testing the Linux market. They've seen how much Linux people don't like them, and they don't want to throw huge development efforts at it if everyone's just going to tell them where to stick it. So what do they do? Port a small program, thats still pretty useful, and see what the reaction is. Will people tell them where to stick it, or will they welcome it?
  • As it was said this is a bit of a suprise move, but surely with the advent of whole APIs like the Java Media Framework (JMF) the actual interface of the media player is becoming less and less required. The major problem I've faced on Linux is that there just don't seem to be as many codecs available that take advantage of the hardware so alot of work is done in software to the detriment of quality and speed. If the Media Player on Linux sees these codecs arrive for all to use, and to therefore enable embedding in other applications then excellent, if its yet another enclosed app then its not as useful.

    Is there anyone out there trying to create a performance pack for the JMF on Linux ?
  • by heroine ( 1220 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2000 @06:05AM (#1315673) Homepage
    Seems like they're getting paranoid about Linux just like they did in 1997. Release another alpha of Microsoft Netshow to scare off the competition. Then abandon it for 3 years until someone starts threatening to release a competing product again. Don't see anyone threatening to release a competing product now however.
  • In win2k at least windows media player is a nice thing to have. It supports a load of different formats and I haven't managed to crash the stupid thing. Really, did anybody expect MS to leave linux alone? They wrote software to run on an apple and they can do the same for linux. There isn't anything saying they can't, nor are they really going to stop trying to spread through the market. Isn't that their whole plan? We still have a choice so if it isn't a good, stable program don't use it. If its good what does it really matter?
  • Read between the lines as "Company X looks like they might want to release a media player of their own. We don't want that so release a rumour we're going to write one ourselves". After all, once Microsoft do a version of something, the game's over, why bother even trying?

    Same old Microsoft, same old FUD

    Rich

  • Ok...I have to ask what their angle is?
    How do they stand to gain from doing this?


    I think this is An attempt to clean up their name
    in the Unix world so that people might be more
    receptive to releases of their software (think
    Office) in the future. (Operating systems are
    not their only money maker)

    Afterall...Unix based systems are a growing market
    and one where alot of users are not all warm and
    fuzzy about the Microsoft name.

    Microsoft isn't exactly tottally foreign to the
    Unix world...remember Xenix? (anyone ever actually
    used Xenix?)

    Will be interesting to see what they do and
    how successfull they will be at this. Of course
    that assumes this isn't total vaporware.
  • ... OK, I am slightly surprised.

    IMHO, They've given up on the OS I think (sure doesn't Office bring in more cash and Gates is now working on "Windows technologies" or something and their motto has been officialy changed from "a PC on every desktop" to something 'Net related which I can't remember

    I mean given up on it as a source of cash.

    They've replaced Browser wars with Streaming Media Wars (to quote someone on /. a coupla days ago)

    Their aim is that every site will buy their server side stuff - Windows Media Server 2000 or some such.

    They now that [protocols/server side/Application Service Provider] is what the have to concentrate on to survive.

    MS know longer care if this development means less people pirate ^H^H^H^H^H^H buy Windows 98/2k

    It's a cunning move.
  • Don't get me wrong, I like everyone else think that Microsoft is a little big for its own good. However, now that I've realized that AOL is truly Big Brother, I have significantly less antipathy towards the not-quite-so-evil empire that is Microsoft.

    But...if Microsoft wants to release Media Player for Linux, DON'T COMPLAIN. Media player would bring a much needed full media application to Linux. Right now, playing most foreign media types in linux is just a nightmare. I don't want to have to use fifteen different applications to watch files because they're in a different format. I would be perfectly content with my friend, Microsoft Media Player, playing all of my .asf files without a care.
    --

  • I just wouldn't feel right putting something like this on a Linux box. Kinda like intentionally throwing a virus on my machine.....
  • Of course it's perfectly possible that there are multiple reasons behind this

    • Microsoft are chasing the right market
      The market for streaming media - despite what people say - is not currently the workplace since many offices dont allow audio and lets face it video without audio is a little lame. The home market - where there is a burgeoning number of Linux installations - is where the money is going to be in delivering digital media content and Microsoft has a large and growing stake in content providers.
    • Microsoft are playing the press card
      Not all of the press is going to be sceptical about this and will happily swallow everything Microsoft gives to them - including the spiel of "We're supporting other operating systems" and "Linux is a true competitor otherwise we wouldn't be supporting it"
    • Microsoft are trying to stave off court actions by supporting (in a loose sense) the open source arenaNo they're not going to release this as open source but I fully expect to see some reference to the Microsoft Nix Media Player miced in with words such as "Support" and "the" and "open" and "source" and "movement" to try and bluff their way out of having to actually open source things

    Sceptic - yes. Happy - sorta, this is needed - especially is web media providers do start to ditch Real for the Microsoft offerings - and who can blame them all the Microsoft stuff is free while Real expect licences for streams. Waiting to see the flames brought on by this - God yeah. ;o)

  • If Microsoft releases a Linux version of their media player, and we are not satisfied with it, then what? We can't just change it and re-release it can we. We have to hope that they improve it and make one that we like. This is again "stifling innovation". Perhaps that's Microsoft's intention (you know they aren't releasing anything for Linux because they like us). They want to throw some chum in the water and see what happens. I for one don't want ANY Microsoft products on my Linux machine. Not because I hate MS, but because they are a different kind of entity from the Linux community.


    Munky_v2
    "Warning: you are logged into reality as root..."
  • Well. I'm no great fan of M$, but I will acknowledge good work when I see it. There are two items of M$'s that I actually hope they continue to produce, as I like the both very much: The Intellimouse and Office. Yes, Office. It's been very stable for me in the past, and frankly is the only one that does everything I want it to. When I get some projects out of the way, I'll be contributing much code to AbiWord to extend the functionality greatly as I'd like to see something with as many options, etc. as Word has. Excel is most spiffy althought Powerpoint can take a hike. (Not configurable enough).

    I know it sounds like I'm advocating M$, but I'm trying to make a point. Of all the media-players available, I end up using M$'s product as well. It's cleaner and clearer than RealPlayer, and RP only works about half the time under Linux anyhow. I'd really like to see M$ contribute some to Linux anyhow. It'd be a first step in the company growing up and being a player in the IT arena, not a bully.
  • This is good, unless they use it as an excuse to keep the format closed/secret/undocumented. The real test will be to see if they allow competing players that play the same streams.

    A paranoid person could view this as an attempt to leverage their ownership of a format into a monopoly on players. But we're not all that paranoid, are we? :-)


    ---
  • Maybe MS finally realized that the real money isn't in operating systems, it's in the applications. Porting to Mac/Solaris/OS2/Linux/BSD/BeOS is a good way to expand their apps market. Flame me if you want, but I'd use media player and office2k if they were out for Linux.

  • Suppose Windows Media Player for Linux is ever released, and works ok. There won't be such a pressing need for linux video software any more. So fewer independent video playback programs will get written, and those that do might not get as much work as they deserve. If this happens, MS could use this to our disadvantage, by ensuring that the Windows version is always slightly more advanced / less buggy etc., ensuring that video playback is always better on Windows than on Linux.

    Here is an example of this in action. For a long time, RealPlayer G2 has been available for Windows (and Mac), but only RealPlayer 5.0 for unix. 5.0 was all that many people needed, and it looked possible that a G2 player might be on the way, so the urge for independent programmers to develop a G2 player was not very strong. Real have finally made a G2 Player for Linux, but it's so unstable that it's better to use the Windows player under Wine.
    If there hadn't been a RealPlayer at all for unix, then it's quite possible that independent programmers would have written a player, but the existence of the 5.0 player stymied that. As a result, Windows is still a better platform for viewing G2 streams than Linux.

    That example could apply to Windows Media Player. However now there is an extra factor. It would be in Real's interest to have as good a Linux player as possible, subject to development costs. But MS could do well out of putting time-wasting for loops in the code, or not debugging it very well. In this case, MS is more dangerous than just any closed-source vendor, because their main product is in direct competition with Linux. I think this sounds ominous.
  • Really, did anybody expect MS to leave linux alone? They wrote software to run on an apple and they can do the same for linux.

    Well, Microsoft also has a few hundred million dollars worth of stock in Apple, so they have a vested interest in keeping the platform alive, and that means writing software for that platform. The difference here is that if RedHat exploded one day, it wouldn't make much of a difference in Redmond. Instead of contributing to the survival of a market which directly benefits them (Apple) they are exploring a new market entirely.

  • vaporware
  • Microsoft wants to make ASF (their streaming media file format) a standard: http://www.microsoft.com/asf/standards.h tm [microsoft.com].

    In this context, it would be a good idea for them to offer a non-Windows player. Real has Unix players, Apple is considering other platforms than Mac and Windows.

    If this is not just a rumour, I guess MS will have to put a lot of money into the development. Porting their Media player to *ix certainly is quite a task...
  • Microsoft has admitted Linux to be a major competitor and cause of concern.

    But only in the server market. I think they don't see it as much of a threat to Windows 97±2, and this is very much a desktop application.
  • I'm pretty sure they think that we are stupid, and don't realize that they haven't released anything. Everything is talk, just so we will slow down our efforts at reverse enginneering there technology. I say that we continue to work hard at reverse enginneering and that we show them, that weather or not they want it, we will use thier propritery standards.

    I agree with you that these announcements are designed to stifle competition, because they aren't new product announcements, but rather announcements that "we're looking into doing something and it sounds like a good idea."

    Truth is, these announcements aren't aimed at us. Micro$oft knows that we know better, and could care less what we think of them. After all, we don't use their products, right? These announcements are aimed at the press, who in turn distill them down to drivel for the "consumer." These announcements are supposed to make those users of M$ software feel better about M$.

    So, in other words, M$ doesn't think you're stupid. They think the people who buy their software are stupid.

    Who, exactly, is trying to reverse engineer the M$ streaming media format? I hadn't heard of anyone undertaking such an operation.

    What would be cool, would be an Open Source video streaming format with Open Source server and viewer software. This could then be ported to any platform: Mac, Sun, M$, you name it. It would also break the stranglehold that just three companies have on the whole market: Real, M$, and Apple. Of course, it would also help if this format could blow the others away in performance and quality. :-)

  • by divec ( 48748 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2000 @06:18AM (#1315703) Homepage
    Nobody will switch OS just so they can watch certain video clips.
    However, many people might *not* switch OS because it would *stop* them from watching video clips.
    The lack of good linux videoclip support won't repel current linux users, but it might stop current windows users from becoming linux users.

    Then again, I'm not sure that WMP will have a positive overall effect on the linux video playback capability, in the long term. It may squash some good offerings that are just getting started now. It might be manipulated by MS to ensure that Linux is not *quite* as good as Windows for video playback (you might decide to write a video player if the current situation is dire, but you probably won't bother if the current situation is merely tolerable).
  • Microsoft shows a sign of initative in releasing some Linux software, and everyone goes off the deep end saying that this is a part of a hidden agenda...ie Microsoft is going to peek into /etc/passwd, Microsoft is trying to fend off legislation, etc etc.

    So let's look at this realistically. Linux is steadily becoming a choice OS for a lot of people. And if you people remember the Halloween Documents, Microsoft knows that Linux is also a choice OS, and is a source of competition. So wouldn't it make sense that Microsoft would be looking to port their apps to Linux? To me, it's a VERY smart business move. Microsoft knows the potential of Linux. Hell, Microsoft actually has a few Linux boxes on their campus for R&D purposes (learned by way of a relative who works for Microsoft's MoneyCentral division). And you think they're saying "screw you" to Linux?

    I realize that Slashdot is a Linux-centric board, but whether you'll admit it or not, Microsoft is making a wise move here, even if this idea is still just that, an idea.
  • by RayChuang ( 10181 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2000 @06:20AM (#1315707)
    I'm not surprised that Microsoft is considering writing a version of the Windows Media Player that works under Linux.

    Remember, you can get a lot more information on the .ASF/.ASX format used by Windows Media Player than the .RM/.RAM format used by Real Networks. I won't be surprised at all if Microsoft makes both a server program and client program for Windows Media Player in Linux under GNU General Public License guidelines, a move that could be extremely bad news for Real Networks since Real doesn't seem to be very inclined to write a Linux version of their streaming media server and client software.
  • by gothic ( 64149 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2000 @06:21AM (#1315708)
    I'm not sure if many of you tried using the Netscape plugin called 'Plugger' ...It's pretty fancy, and you can find it on Netscape's plugin page. I can pretty much stream all my movie files/avi file/etc/etc with it, and it doesn't require too many programs to be installed. Here is a copy of the mime types:

    audio/x-mpegurl
    audio/mpegurl
    audio/x-mpeg-url
    audio/mpeg-url
    image/x-sun-raster
    image/sun-raster
    image/x-png
    image/png
    image/x-tiff
    image/tiff
    audio/x-wav
    audio/wav
    audio/x-basic
    audio/basic
    audio/x-psid
    audio/psid
    audio/x-mpeg
    audio/mpeg
    audio/x-mpeg3
    audio/mpeg3
    audio/x-mpeg2
    audio/mpeg2
    audio/x-mod
    audio/mod
    audio/x-midi
    audio/midi
    video/x-fli
    video/fli
    video/x-msvideo
    video/msvideo
    video/x-anim
    video/anim
    video/x-sgi-movie
    video/sgi-movie
    video/x-dl
    video/dl
    video/x-quicktime
    video/quicktime
    video/x-mpeg
    video/mpeg


    Whoa, big paste.. =] It uses programs like xanim, and another free one, that I can't rememeber the name for now. I recommend checking it out. The readme from the program is pretty good too, and will tell you what you need to do, and download.

  • by Renaud ( 6194 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2000 @06:23AM (#1315712) Homepage
    1) MS wants domination in the streaming media market
    2) Non-windows users have no other choice than Real, and that keeps Real alive and prevents MS from reaching 1)
    3) MS decides to release WM player for alternative platforms and to start aggressive partnership with content providers
    4) Real dies, WM becomes the new standard
    5) MS starts delaying non-windows versions of WM player, and eventually cancels them.
    6) "Linux for multimedia ? nahhh, you can't even play streaming movies from the internet"

    I wonder if they'll be able to get away with it after the DOJ trial, though...

    What we really need here is an open standard (IETF, where are you ?), possibly based on a new technology (wavelets/fractal, whatever works best) so that it gains wide acceptance.

    If content providers and MS get to decide the specs of future audio and video formats, prepare for SDMI-type crap...
  • KICK IT!

    Quicktime has movie formats that you just can't show!
    You ask for codecs, "please?" but they still say no!
    You've missed two 'Net films 'cause your player don't work!
    But Apple keeps on acting like some kind of jerk!

    You gotta fight
    for your right
    to moooooooovies!!!!

    Valenti caught you watching DVD's and he said "no way"!
    That hypocrite says "fair use" ain't okay!
    Man, lawyers and lawsuits are such a drag!
    They drag you into court if you use the anchor tag!
    (Busted!)

    You gotta fight
    for your right
    to moooooooooovies!!!!

    "If you want to watch movies don't use an OS you can share!"
    But we know the situation is just unfair!
    Now guess which bad bunch might give us movie toys--
    I don't know what they're plotting, but it's Bill G's Boys!


  • Oh please, as though Real is any better. Right now there are two standards in streaming media. Real and MS. Real has given us old versions (5.x) (thanks, but every decent site requires G2 these days), and one very buggy very, very alpha version of G2. What updates have they made to their Linux G2 player? none!!

    If MS releases player, then Real will have competition. If they want Linux market-share, they'll have to do a little better than one bug-riddled alpha release. Then MS will have to raise it's standards, and in a few iterations we'll have the same or better quality players as the windows/mac crowd.

    Either that, or this is a vaporware announcement, they'll never make a release, and Real will go back to pretending Linux doesn't exist. In other words, we'll be back to where we are now.
  • P.S.
    Does anybody remember the name of Microsoft's Unix, that was released either late 70's or early 80's?


    I think they called it DOS. ;)
  • I think that is a good angle to take on the matter. But my friends, consider Microsoft as you would the plague. They create a small ported program to linux, next their asking that their (now mainstream) "small un-evasive program" be run through THEIR windows manager. I remember getting a winblows 98 OS on my new computer and ALMOST setting the tower on fire because of dll and packet conflicts with Netscape. They do these things on purpose, the borg has set destination : Linux and all free source users of the universe. Assimilate and conquer "But Mr. Chairman, Monopoly is fun, oh not the board game"
  • by mattjp ( 78634 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2000 @06:38AM (#1315737)
    If you read the article you'll notice that MS are talking about:


    "[H]e confirmed that Media Player for the Mac would have digital rights management (DRM) software built-in.
    Within the next six to nine months, Microsoft plans to roll out a version of DRM that will enable consumers to manipulate and back up their own licence stores of video and music clips... [T]he software giant has yet to decide whether users will do this themselves or whether it will be kept on a secure site."


    The media companies need this sort of functionality to go on existing - as the DVD debacle has shown, no amount of security features will have long term viability. What will therefore be required is a method by which consumers can demonstrate ownership of a license to posess music. MS wants to control the means by which this license is stored and validated.

    This might not be the eventual standard but MS being MS, they'll want to get their foot in the door early. To control the standard they'll need to have their SW on as many platforms as possible - otherwise there would be Linux specific licensing authorities.


    ---No Judgement Just an Assesment---

    ----------Probably Wrong------------

  • "Any Mac users in /. care to comment on the strengths of audio creation/manipulation on the Mac?"

    Not a user but used to work in a Mac shop. Yes, they lead the field in low-medium end digital video, most 2D image manipulation, digital photography, compositing, DTP, and typesetting.

    Partly this is cultural, partly technological, partly software support.

    What's interesting to me is how well entrenched this is. The fact that Photoshop on a PC is nigh identical to Photoshop on a Mac will not make anyone switch, despite the obvious advantage of integrating with all the other PC users in the company. There are good reasons for this - graphic designers use their computers more intensely than almost anyone - certainly as much as hardcore programmers. They should be given the tools they prefer, and I.T. should deal with it.

    As a non-Mac person who had to design an IT strategy around them, I know (a bit) about what I'm talking about.
  • I have been having a recurring thought (nightmare) about Microsoft and what they are actually up to. Consider that Bill Gates didn't get where he is by being a fool.

    Someone said recently that M$ is in a tough position because they are expected to always make a profit. I think Bill G. knew exacly what he was doing when he "integrated" the web browser. I think he knew, even wanted to be declared a monopoly. If the courts break up M$ he is the big winner.

    Imagine what the market will be like when this happens: Office for every platform, yes Linux too. Windows Media Players for every platform. Internet Explorer, and on and on.

    Right now, M$ is stuck in their own Windows world, they can't wait to be broken up.
  • Microsoft gets called many things around here, but stupid is rarely one of them. They know full well that 30 seconds after they release this media player, people will start picking it apart. It may end up being crappy, but they just can't afford to do anything underhanded. That PR department has enough on its hands right now.

    Are they going to call this program "Windows Media Player for Linux"? That's funny as hell.

    -B
  • I use RealPlayer to listen to Dr Demento, because otherwise I go thru withdrawal pains :-( Otherwise I don't use it or any of the others; I've seen too many reports of the sneaky crap they send back to HQ. Real's jukebox does it, and I remember M$ something did it. So no proprietary media player, except for my hypocritical addiction to staying demented....

    --
  • However, Microsoft has admitted Linux to be a major competitor and cause of concern. Can we really expect them to begin porting softare to run under *nix?

    I'd go with diversification of my product platforms. Linux has a steadily increasing user base, and most of these users don't give a rodent's Glutius Maximus about whether or not MS is providing applications for the *nix users.

    However, if MS were to start providing interoperability (and not immediately breaking it), many of these users might be inclined to purchace MS Offix 2001, and not write it off as a POS product just because it has MS in the name.

    The Other Nate

  • If the planned break-up goes ahead, then there's nothing to stop the Multimedia or Internet division doing this, and no logical reason why they shouldn't. The whole point is that all of a sudden, having the one-OS, one-mission ethos that MS as a whole have worked under for years pulled out from under them, the new companies will HAVE to increase market share in other ways. They'll die if they don't.

    The question is: Will what they write on other platforms be any good? The reason that WMP is a good viewing platform for Windows is because they have full access to and knowledge of the little bits of API that accelerate graphics under Windows. The same applies to Apple with QuickTime (especially QT2). Ever tried comparing speed between WMP/ActiveMovie's QT rendering under Windows with the QT2 program? ActiveMovie really flew, was more reliable, and far less clunky to operate.

    By /.'s own admission, XWindows can be notoriously tricky to write for. The head start that MS programmers normally have (by writing solely for Windows) is gone, and WMP for Linux's only advantage will be the ability to play ASF files. It will certainly make interesting viewing if and when it dows show up.

  • Microsoft have been claiming for well over a year (closer to two?) that they'll have a media player for Linux. The version they have available won't even play uncompressed .avi's, and has never been updated.

    I'd read Microsoft's comments as trying to discourage anyone else from trying to compete, rather than any honest intention to support Linux themselves.
  • Wow! With HP unix being so 'rock solid' stable, it is pretty sad that a user-level application can lock it up!

  • by jilles ( 20976 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2000 @07:03AM (#1315765) Homepage
    It's not about the client side they worry but about the serverside. Right now using windows media to stream audio and video means excluding non windows and non apple platforms. With a growing marketshare for these windows media incompatible platform that means that content providers are excluding a growing group of people.

    So in order to compete on the serverside, microsoft needs to make sure that the potential audience for the content is as large as possible. The content providing market is going to be huge and MS simply cannot afford to miss that boat just to protect their OS.

    So releasing a linux client seems like a good idea. Of course MS has suffered from sigthedness before so there's a difference between anouncing a thing like this and actually delivering a usable product. But if they are serious about becoming a major player on the content providing market (which I think they are) they will have to make sure that their content works everywhere, even on Linux.
  • The Windows Media Player is one of the few things I really miss in Linux; A good media player, (which I must admit I think the later versions are) is a must-have for any modern operative system. So as long as it's fairly stable and doesn't contain any backdoors, I think it would be very nice to have it on Linux. The real question is why MS would want to do this, since it weakens their own platform? =)
  • Oh, but is it the respondents or MS which is predictable?
  • Surely we're not supposed to remember it. MS depends upon customers being forgetful. I remember when computers were reliable. (But then, that was 1976 on a computer which ran millions of instructions per second and we had access to the vendor's source code and shared our improvements with others...and added improvements while making code smaller.) After all, they execute the same instructions the same way every time.
  • by SoftwareJanitor ( 15983 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2000 @07:14AM (#1315780)
    If they are going to be the dominant force in streaming media, they need to support all platforms.

    Temporarily. Once they crush all of the other streaming media formats, then they can drop support for all other platforms than their own and maybe the Mac, if there is something they need to coerce Apple to do. Once that is done, they can make some small "upgrades" that break backwards compatibility, and convince everyone only to support their new format. Then every other platform is locked out of streaming media.

    It is for this reason that I'd prefer to support RealPlayer, and like to see Apple release a QuickTime for Linux and other platforms. Real doesn't really have a reason to cut other platforms off, and Apple probably will never make the Mac a dominant enough platform that they could afford not to support other platforms.

  • by ignatz ( 10191 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2000 @07:15AM (#1315781) Homepage
    It wasn't an announcement. I was at the press conference, and this was a response to a lot of very hard questioning on the direction of MS's audio tools.

    The important (IMHO) thing was not the discussion of a Unix ASF player, but the fact that Microsoft were willing to discuss the licensing of the WMA codecs.

    S.
  • Suppose that they do something like this. OK, not completely out of the question. So, lots of people start using WMP instead of Real on the servers. 2 things could happen:

    1. Real actually comes up with some real prices (sorry, couldn't resist--I've bought their stuff before)

    2. Real dies, or all but dies.

    #2 is quite scary, because if this happens, then MS could at any time pull the rug out from under the Linux server/client software, if it's closed-source. Therefore, I would be very careful in this matter. As someone who already has 2 flavors of RealAudio, one MP3 stream, and is considering Darwin, I will certainly look at this if it comes to pass--but I will be careful not to help MS if things seem shady.

  • by brad.hill ( 21936 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2000 @07:17AM (#1315786)
    I wish I had some moderator points. It was called Netshow. I've used (and since uninstalled) it too. I can't believe that the top scored post in this discussion is a vaporware claim. Admittedly, it looks like they've since pulled it from their site, but check out this Techweb article [techweb.com] from 1998.
  • Which when I last looked at it (a few months ago), had been in beta forever and didn't support any of the recent codecs that made ASF somewhat competitive to RealMedia or embedding ASF into pages. On top of that it still crashed trying to play back files it was supposed to support.

    Nothing would make me happier than having more cross-platform streaming solutions, but it's highly unlikely that Microsoft will make a viable player for anything besides Windows.

  • OS/2? Microsoft was all behind it, until they weren't.

    If you lay down with a snake, you'll get bit.

    Microsoft has always shown themselves to be a snake pit. They play nice and then screw any partner when it's to their advantage. Why would they be different now?

    Here's my take. Microsoft releases a product to stave off the DeCSS and Samba type hackers (ie. someone who will hack the protocol and open source an implementation just because they have no other alternative.) Their fear is that once this is done they have to enter whack-the-mole mode, which several large groups have found to be ridiculously ineffective.

    Since the client plays everywhere, Media Player becomes the defacto standard while the hackers are quietly content using MS' closed source solution (Why would I work on writing my own code when I have a decent client already?). Microsoft can now cut off any further development/bug fixes for the Linux client. It is left to stagnate. It takes a year for the hackers to wake up, and another 6 months to develope a client. By this time MS has had time to extend (read, break) the protocol. Everyone now knows that if you want to watch online movies you have to use a MS excuse for an OS.

    Don't be played for a fool, people. Don't accept a closed source client or protocol. If they don't release the source and specs, then start asking people why they are letting MS put a noose around their business' neck.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    im surprised no one has mentioned this. but the media player can play DVDs. for some reason you have to add an entry into the registry. but maybe. just maybe, the new version will have this as a full feature. there is no dvd players for linux. this will be it. of course theres also asfs and other microsoft stuff in it too. but people will get it for the dvd playing. and start getting used to the ms formats.
    heres how you do it:
    Open Regedit, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > MediaPlayer > Player > Settings. Right-click on the Settings key and choose New > String Value. Name that string "EnableDVDUI" (without the quotes). For
    the value, use "yes" (again, without the quotes). Next time you start Windows Media Player, you should have DVD viewing abilities.
  • just so long as it doesn't try to do anything funny, like send MS a list of all my files, or what I'm reading etc...

    from the article..

    Within the next six to nine months, Microsoft plans to roll out a version of DRM that will enable consumers to manipulate and back up their own licence stores of video and music clips. But Boudreau said that the software giant has yet to decide whether users will do this themselves or whether it will be kept on a secure site.

    not only can they track what you watch, but they want to make sure you only watch specially "licensed" media. DRM + SDMI, and you thought you owned the bits you bought...
  • It is my assumption that MS wants to kill Quicktime. One way of doing this is to put the MediaPlayer on Linux first. Remember, in the recent decade, it's not always the best product that wins, just the first.

    Plus they can get extra media attention for their products, because all the news sites will run "MS ports products to Linux" stories for a few days (i.e. every business loves free good news stories about themselves".)

    Finally, it can make it appear that they want to help Linux, when in fact, it is more likely they just want to be the only media platform on Linux, which then becomes a standard that they control.

  • by technos ( 73414 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2000 @07:55AM (#1315814) Homepage Journal
    1. Were Microsoft not to release a WMP for Linux, we'd reverse engineer one in a three month span of time that didn't support their nifty 'copyright protections'.
    2. Even if Microsoft releases one, many programmers/users will be unhappy with it and clone a better application that plays the same files, albeit in a longer length of time.
    3. Microsoft is looking to displace Real; Real is an easy target, with the insane pricing scheme and all. They've [ms] shown themselves unable to deal with the surge of Linux popularity, so they're going to treat us indifferently, much like Apple.
    4. Once we have a client, the server is a stones throw. If MS qoesn't release one open source, one will appear.

    Look at ICQ for example. ICQ became popular with Win9x users, ICQ waits on a Unix client. Lots of people, who couldn't live with out it, began to r/e ICQ and clone it. Voila! ICQ releases a Java based client Unixy folks can use. But we don't like it; it hogs memory, crashes, etc. We go back to our clones, and along the way someone writes a bit of OSS server code, someone else writes a proxy, another writes an email-forwarder. It took us a little over a year from ICQ beta release to an functionally superior *nix clone. If there hadn't been that damn AIM distraction, we could have done it in far less. You don't need to worry about being 'left out in the cold'. Nobody ever gives us (the OSS community) a bone, and we've done just fine.
  • As a Microsoft supporter, I do agree with your sentiments. However, I think that some people are just unfairly trashing Microsoft for doing something that nobody thought possible; proposing the idea of porting one of their apps to Linux. I'm willing to bet that a lot of people were surprised to hear this, no matter how off-the-cuff it was.

    You can go by Microsoft's history all you'd like, but in doing so, you're really showing an extreme bias against this initative IMHO.
  • As someone who owns both a Mac and a PC, I will admit that Photoshop itself is the same program on both platforms.

    But it's so much prettier on a Mac ... the fonts are nicer, the buttons are cuter, the whole experience is just somehow right in an aesthetic sense. I have a feeling artists respond to that even more than I do, and as a result they have a queasy feeling when visiting a PC. I know I feel a bit of that myself, and that's why I'll probably always own a Mac, even though it would be more cost-effective to do my arty stuff on a PC which I have to own anyway.

    Of course this is why Linux is absolutely hopeless for artists, and why I'd rather use a SGI workstation than a Linux box, open source movement or no.

    D

    ----
  • They might indeed make one, but don't count on it being much more than an inferior copy as long as it isn't running on Intel Windoze.

    While true that they've bothered to port IE to some Unix platforms, the problem is that they don't consider a "platform" to be anything more than "a collection of hardware on which Windows does not run in some form". Thus they tooted their own horn about being "cross-platform" with IE for UNIX, while only creating the browser for those hardware platforms on which there was not ever/was no longer a Windows NT port. Forget about Linux on Intel.

    There was an article some time ago on Slashdot about winning the temporary battle while losing the long-term browser war. The recent push towards third-generation display technologies (Apple's Aqua + OSX) and de-facto standardization of browser features against IE as a benchmark will extend farther into media formats and the players that are required to use them.

  • "not only can they track what you watch, but they want to make sure you only watch specially "licensed" media. DRM + SDMI, and you thought you owned the bits you bought... "

    Well then, I won't use it. It's that simple.
  • Remember, in the recent decade, it's not always the best product that wins, just the first.

    Really? First wins?

    The IBM PC beat the Apple II and the TRS-80.
    Windows beat Macintosh.
    1-2-3 beat VisiCalc.
    Excel beat 1-2-3.
    Wordperfect beat WordStar.
    Word beat Wordperfect.
    Nestcape beat Mosaic.
    IE beat Netscape.

    Being first is ultimately meaningless. (Which is the flaw in the Amazon.com buisness plan. They aren't going to be the Wal-Mart of the Web -- they're going to be the the K-Mart of the Web).

    Steven E. Ehrbar
  • Three simple points:
    • It's just an announcement. We all know about Microsoft pre-competitive announcements to stall competing (in this case, open source) product efforts.
    • Microsoft wants to dominate the on-line media market. If they accept Linux as a viable operation system (at least in the short term), this makes sense: it gives them a few % more market share.
    • If you read the article, you see that their player has the predictable closed-source controls: digital rights management enforced through a binary-only distribution.
    I think this is fairly predictable behavior on the part of a large, rational corporation that wants to dominate the market, eliminate competition, and control the use of media. In the long run, I think it is not generally in the interest of Linux users.
  • Jeez, everybody knew that Media Player would be out "in a couple of months" back when Microsoft said it would in JUNE OF 1998!!!!

    (We should believe them now?)

    - A.P.
    --


    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • by SurfsUp ( 11523 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2000 @09:00AM (#1315849)
    As a result of the last /. article on the need for streaming media I (1) checked out icecast (1b) compiled it from source (2) tried out XMMS's streaming mp3 feature (2b) compiled it from source (3) spent a couple of hours listening to broadcast audio from greenwitch [greenwitch.com] (4) figured out how to make netscape start the webcast automatically, just by clicking on the .mpu link.

    The XMMS streaming audio is solid as a rock. Even without using the realtime priority feature, I couldn't get it to skip. (I guess I could if I tried *really* hard) The audio quality is superb - considering the bit rate and the miniscule speakers on my laptop. Gosh, that equalizer helps, and they do a lovely job of compression-amplifying. If you've been turned off by crappy streaming audio from Realnetworks, you have to try this.

    My conclusion is, this totally rocks, and we don't need Microsoft's help in getting streaming media on Linux. Just the opposite I'd say. What we need to do is (1) beat on more sites to give us streaming mp3 (or we won't bloody go to your site, thanks) (2) give the people that are working on free video codecs for Linux all the support we can.
  • This move is clearly all about digital rights management. With record companies scrambling to pick up the pieces of what the mp3 format has left them with, digital rights management systems (DMR) are the only available means for them to preserve their business. These systems, by using a system of encrypted keys, allow the media distributers total control over who can use media, how often, when, under what conditions, etc. This is not unlike Divx, and it's definitely more convenient for the user.

    This is what I feel the AOL/Warner merger was all about as well. Microsoft is positioning themselves to compete against this new media giant by attempting to control the standards by which music and other media are distributed.

    What can the open source community do to stop this freedom from being swept away right under their noses? Unfortunately, not much. Soon, new distributable media like CDs and DVDs and other new standards emerging will be using similar encrypted systems and will block the spread of data through the hardware end. There is a very powerful movement in the industry trying to push this through. Don't underestimate it.

    It seems to me that the only way to stop this from really taking over (of course the average unix user knows that anything sent to a /dev can also be captured, but most people are ignorant enough not to even bother with this) is to reverse engineer the system. That is why the DeCSS case is so incredibly important.

    If these companies have their way, soon, much information will no longer be free, but distributed through encrypted systems. And the freedom that the internet has offered so many people will be swept away by business that profit by controlling it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 01, 2000 @09:22AM (#1315860)
    Eventually we'll have; Windows for Unix

    Would that be so bad? A Microsoft certified Windows(TM) environment which could sit on top of any *nix, and would behave (to the user) like Windows(TM) on a desktop.

    I'm not saying I'd want to use it (actually, I might, when forced to write in Word or wanting to play a game not yet available elsewhere), but think of the millions who would use it and suddenly be comfortable in *nix. They might just try *nix without the Windows(TM) environment once in a while ... where might that lead?

    Yes, I know, "use WINE", "use VMWare", etc ... they 1) aren't completely there yet and 2) don't have the Microsoft certification which means something to a large group of people.

  • I must admit with regret that Media Player is the best streaming media solution I've used.

    This summer I worked setting up web sites with streaming video for a major record label; we dealt with Real, Apple (Quicktime), and Microsoft.

    Apple was the nicest company to deal with; we got to chat with their encoding guys, and they helped us set up exactly what we wanted. Real was OK, though they "accidentally" launched the video a day before they was supposed to. Microsoft was of course heavy-handed, demanding that we remove the "get G2" and "get quicktime" buttons from the page, and not letting us use a redesigned button for their media player (their default one is too big and ugly!).

    Yet, when all the links were up and we ran them side by side, Media Player was my favorite. Nobody liked Realplayer (terrible quality, even when it negotiated a higher bandwidth; proxy issues). Quicktime had a very smooth feel (smoother than Media Player), but the detail was low and the video was noticeably crunchy when there was a lot of action. Media player had the best image fidelity/detail, though it was slightly less fluid than Quicktime.

    Note, these are with the maximum bandwidth settings; I'm not sure how well each one scales down to modem speeds.

    It's sad but true. And it's getting to be such a pain to deal with all three formats that newcomers will be extremely unwelcome, unless they can perform. IMO, the best bet would be to develop a new codec that can work in an existing windows product (QT/Media Player) which is so good it can't be ignored, and make it a free standard. This seems hard and unrewarding, but I can't think of any viable alternatives.

    - Tom 7
  • You're seriously deluded... Microsoft funds studies to demonstrate how superior Windows NT is to Linux. Given that their mindset is this, that Linux users "generally" dislike microsoft to say the least, why in the world would they even consider porting SQL Server?

    It only opens the market a little more horizontally, and does nothing to helping them grow the market upwards (in terms of scalability)...

    The moment microsoft starts offering their core products on linux is the moment that people can actually run those apps without need to buy windows, which would quickly spiral out of control, IMO... Microsoft serves their shareholders interests best by limiting who they sell their products to to the 95% of people who already own their products.

    Don't bash me for this... I'm just pointing it out.
  • I take issue with your comments about VMWare:

    1) aren't completely there yet

    VMWare emulates all of the standard hardware that is "there" on a PC. The remaining limitations -- IMHO, are pretty trivial

    2) don't have Microsoft Certification ..

    It's a virtual machine! It's not an emulator. If Micros~1 software ever was intended to work on Intel hardware as implemented by VMWare, then it *is* by definition certified on VMware (or else VMWare implemented it wrong).

    I look at VMWare as a great reference platform for OS testing. Every VM you create on any system is essentially using the same hardware. Try to get that level of consistency from your local PC dealer.
  • The fact that Photoshop on a PC is nigh identical to Photoshop on a Mac will not make anyone switch, despite the obvious advantage of integrating with all the other PC users in the company.

    One technical advantage is superior color management, especially ColorSync, on the Mac. This, by the way, is the reason why the "The GIMP has everything Photoshop has!!" argument is false. The GIMP is great at what GIMP users use it for -- drop-shadowed, gradient-filled text for on-monitor display -- but lacks all sorts of features and third-party add-ons for prepress work.

    Yes, I know the original question was about audio. I don't know much about that, but had a vague understanding is that coperative multitasking was advantageous there...?
  • You're referring to Microsoft's NetShow Revision 2.00, Build 251 beta (aka Media Player), the very first Microsoft application for Linux, released in Oct. 1998. This is a stripped, statically linked x86 ELF binary. 2MB. http://linuxmafia.com/pub/linux/ apps/netshow_linux [linuxmafia.com]

    The above is now the main distribution point for that software, since Microsoft removed it and all mention of it from its Web pages. It's not half bad, though I'm keeping it available mostly for historical reasons.

  • They had a version of netshow once before, it should not be too difficult. I think that they should release all there products on Linux and do it intelligentlly. I think less people would care about there Application dominance if their applications ran on multiple OS's and they did not have an OS dominance too.

    send flames > /dev/null

  • They had a version of netshow once before, it should not be too difficult. I think that they should release all there products on Linux and do it intelligentlly. I think less people would care about there Application dominance if their applications ran on multiple OS's and they did not have an OS dominance too. I'd love to see IE for Linux as well as word. I'd never have to use windows...

    send flames > /dev/null

  • 2) don't have Microsoft Certification ..

    It's a virtual machine! It's not an emulator. If Micros~1 software ever was intended to work on Intel hardware as implemented by VMWare, then it *is* by definition certified on VMware (or else VMWare implemented it wrong).

    I think you are taking umbrage with the wrong "end" of this point. That point doesn't read to me as a condemation of VMWare for not supplying a "Microsoft certified" environment, but as a comment that there are a group of people who need to see that certification to spend their money. Just because you understand that "it should just work" doesn't mean Joe Consumer will understand (or care). We may not agree with such a group, but trying to ignore them won't make them go away.
  • Possibly off-topic, I just wanted to mention that "broadcast.com" (now owned by Yahoo!) uses Windows Media Player and Real Player EXCLUSIVELY for their media streaming.

    I just wrote them a letter asking when they plan on supporting MP3 streaming using Shoutcast or Icecast. After all, MP3 streaming can be done for free, and there are TONS of potential listeners out there that have Win/X11/MacAMP installed.

    I know broadcast.com is only one company, but it's part of yahoo now. I honestly expect them to not bother with a response to one geek complaining about streamed media formats, but if enough people would write letters (in their own NICE way of course), maybe we could see some change of attitude.

  • by ottffssent ( 18387 ) on Tuesday February 01, 2000 @12:40PM (#1315930)
    Actually, contrary to what the article says, there is no such product. I'm not saying you're lying (or even that techweb is lying), since it's such an old article. Anyway, the only link on the page to the player goes to www.microsoft.com/windows/mediaplayer/download/uni x.html which appears innocent enough, except that that bounces to http://www.microsoft.com/windows/mediaplayer/downl oad/default.asp which in turn bounces to http://www.microsoft.com/windows/mediaplayer/en/do wnload/Win32Otherx86.asp (just like you'd expect from microsoft...). THAT page has a link for 'other operating systems' since it takes you to a windows-only download page (again, figures, especially since the original link was for unix!!)

    The 'other operating systems' page lists versions for NT4, 98, 95, win3.x (As if any machine running win3.x would play anything but mono sound anyway...). Way at the bottom, there's a player for the mac. (version 6.3, not 6.4 like the rest of them). *NOWHERE* is there a linux version.
  • 2 points.

    #1. What the hell do you want MS to do then (in regards to releasign a player)? You act like them releasing it is the worst thing in the world. What ever happened to the complaint that WMP was Windows and Macintosh only? What about the complaint that WMP was evil because you could only get it on Windows or Macs? Now MS is expanding it and your bitching at them? I don't know about you, but this is the best news I've heard all week. WMP may be a MS product, but a hell of a lot of the sites I visit use it, and it's a pain in the ass not to be able to play it in Linux. I'm over-joyed they're bringing it to Linux. Now if only I could get IE on here......

    #2. If Linux grows like its' "supposed" to, how can MS regain the market again? I mean, with WMP and maybe Quicktime coming to Linux, there is even less reason to run Windows. And by the time MS gets a monopoly of streaming audio (assuming it ever gets it), I'd hope that linux users would at least make up 25% of the desktop market. That'd be suicide to drop support then. And how can it crush all the other formats anyway? Windows is still the dominating OS by a huge margin, and if everyone wanted to, they could have already totally switched to WMP. But they haven't, and I don't see how bringing it to Linux will change that.

    Some of the conspiracy theory's you guys come up with amaze me. Can you not just believe that MS sees that to expand it's format, it's going to have to support other OS's? Netscape and Real saw that, and they don't get bitched at like MS. Don't you want a big OS orgy, where you can get just about everything for just about every OS? A thought like that sure sounds good to me.
  • Like I said, they've since removed it, but as recently as 3 months ago, it was there, along with a Solaris version. Adding a few new codecs and re-releasing it would probably be pretty simple.

    I doubt it'd gain much popularity among the Linux crowd though. Nobody trusts MS and we wouldn't want to install it unless we had the source, and IIRC the UI didn't feel like an X app, it felt like a Windows app.

    My bet is that they're being forced to release this by their clients in the streaming media server market who want their content available to as wide an audience as possible. Microsoft would probably be all too happy to keep Unix/Linux users out, but to a third-party content provider they're customers like everyone else.

  • Just because it's a reapplication of a good idea doesn't mean it's not innovative. Windows is merely a reapplication of products from other locations: Mac, UNIX, Warp OS2, et al...

    And the Internet is truely inovative. PHP is not a reapplication of something that already existed. Nor is HTML (or rather, the initial markup languages that HTML sprang from)

    Most of the things that he mentioned are truely inovative - the idea may not be, but the code is. The unreal engine wasn't/isn't innovative if you look at it from the perspective you're looking at. In reality, though, the unreal engine hasbeen completely origonal and innovative at the code level - way ahead of it's time (when it was written). Nobody had ever done it before that well. The idea of a first person shooter was already there, brought from Quake/doom/wolf.

    From your perspective, windows wouldn't be innovative either, in any manner. The idea of a computer in every home was initially from Steve Jobs of Apple. Initial technologies mocked and mimicked other OSes. My goodness, even "Active Directories," which is being highly acclaimed as soemthing new, smells remotely like something that I'm fairly familiar with in UNIX right now - which has been around the block a couple times, I believe.

    -------
    CAIMLAS

  • Hmm....I can imagine the following scenario:

    You download an RPM/elf bin file from the net, install, and start to run. A nice friendly seggie occurs.

    You try to run it again. This time you get the message "Unable to find MSVB60.dll. Please click here to update your files." You press OK, and you encouter your system shutting down. (oh my) You boot up again, and to your horror, encounter MS Linux 2000.

    Seriously, though, I'd not trust a thing on my linux box that came from Redmond. They're too hostile about the entire thing, and who knows how security conscious they were about making the media player. They might even code a backdoor into it, who knows. Now, if I could untar the download and compile it myself...

    I see it as a move to try and take over the online media market. Fortunately, I think linux users know enough about what they're doing to not fall for it. Blast, we need those codecs, though.

    -------
    CAIMLAS

  • Sure theres that mpegtv player for linux, its better but its SLOW compared with windows. It gets around 15fps on an mpeg encoded at 30.

    Hint: don't run it through X server emulator on Windows box, epecially over 10baseT network with misconfigured routers, especially under a DoS attack.

  • 2 points.

    So who is keeping score?

    #1. What the hell do you want MS to do then (in regards to releasign a player)?

    Well, to be totally honest, I don't really care as much as you think I do. Personally I'd prefer that they release the specs for their format and let the Linux community (and anyone else who may care) develop their own player. I'd say that them releasing source code for their player if they do one would be a good thing, but in general not the way they do things. As I've said before, I'd prefer that Real or QuickTime become the de-facto standard than Microsoft's format. I'd really prefer a truly open standard.

    You act like them releasing it is the worst thing in the world.

    That isn't quite true. I merely stated that I would suspect that Microsoft has more sinister reasons for doing a port than what a lot of people might think. I'm also trying to goad Apple and Real towards taking the Linux market seriously before Microsoft can gain a toehold in media players here.

    What ever happened to the complaint that WMP was Windows and Macintosh only?

    I don't recall ever making that complaint. It would be a good thing if everything that was supported on Windows and the Mac was supported under Linux, IF we could be assured that such support wasn't just a temporary thing. The availability of 3rd party players or source code would insure that. As I've said, that seems unlikely.

    What about the complaint that WMP was evil because you could only get it on Windows or Macs?

    I don't believe I ever made that complaint either. However, unless there was a long term commitment to support WMP on all platforms, that wouldn't cease to be true in the long run.

    Now MS is expanding it and your bitching at them? I don't know about you, but this is the best news I've heard all week.

    You've certainly got the right to your opinion, but I've heard a lot of other things this week that I would rate above that.

    WMP may be a MS product, but a hell of a lot of the sites I visit use it,

    Your surfing habits must be different than mine, since I've noticed at least 10x as many sites using Real formats, and probably 3x as many sites using QuickTime. I'd much rather have a good Real G2 player and a QuickTime player than Microsoft's player.

    and it's a pain in the ass not to be able to play it in Linux. I'm over-joyed they're bringing it to Linux. Now if only I could get IE on here......

    Erk. Whatever. I personally don't use IE when I am subjected to using Windows. I've seen the Solaris version of IE. I wasn't impressed. I would never choose IE on Linux.

    #2. If Linux grows like its' "supposed" to, how can MS regain the market again?

    Through honest means, they probably couldn't. However, as history has shown, Microsoft is not above resorting to unethical and/or illegal tactics to win at any cost. It is really hard to say how Linux is "supposed" to grow. I've seen all sorts of estimates, and I don't think anyone can tell the future. While I am fairly optimistic about Linux's future, I don't like counting chickens before the eggs have hatched.

    I mean, with WMP and maybe Quicktime coming to Linux, there is even less reason to run Windows. And by the time MS gets a monopoly of streaming audio (assuming it ever gets it), I'd hope that linux users would at least make up 25% of the desktop market.

    Linux has a long way to go to get to 25% of the desktop market. It still hasn't achieved that sort of penetration in the server market. Microsoft could easily marginalize Real and QuickTime quicker than Linux can gain that kind of market share on the desktop. If they aren't brought into check, they could probably buy Real, and so far Apple doesn't seem to be doing what it takes to make QuickTime a truly multiplatform solution.

    That'd be suicide to drop support then.

    I don't see it that way. What is the downside for Microsoft? Lost revenue? Linux users aren't making Microsoft any money. Their player probably would have to be free (as in beer) in order to succeed, so no revenue there. Bad publicity? Doesn't seem to bother them that much, especially when it comes to Linux users.

    And how can it crush all the other formats anyway?

    All they have to do is find a way to convince the content suppliers to support their format instead of Real and QuickTime. They only need to get to about 60% of the market, then the market will decide that all the momentum is shifting that direction and Real and QuickTime would probably go downhill quickly for all but a few loyalists. That sort of thing has happened too many times.

    Windows is still the dominating OS by a huge margin, and if everyone wanted to, they could have already totally switched to WMP.

    Microsoft hasn't started moving aggresively against Real and QuickTime yet. But what you are saying as far as them controlling the platform does give them tremendous advantages in taking over other bits of infrastructure. Make no mistake that if Microsoft decides they want to take over the media player market, that Linux players will only be one small part in a large, orchestrated effort.

    But they haven't, and I don't see how bringing it to Linux will change that.

    By itself, it probably won't. But if Microsoft ports their player and Apple doesn't port QuickTime, and Real keeps dragging their feet on G2 players for Linux, it could give Microsoft the window of opportunity to use that as a club to beat the other formats over the head with.

    Some of the conspiracy theory's you guys come up with amaze me.

    What is so amazing about looking at what they have done with other proprietary file formats in the past and guessing as to what they might do in the future? If you've read the Halloween documents, this is the sort of strategy they've been talking about in taking over the Internet.

    Can you not just believe that MS sees that to expand it's format, it's going to have to support other OS's?

    No, I've seen Microsoft use and withdraw support of products on other platforms to their advantage to believe that.

    Netscape and Real saw that, and they don't get bitched at like MS.

    Neither of those companies has a vested interest in seeing a particular platform dominate the whole computer world. Microsoft is not very secretive that their vision is dominance of the whole world.

    Don't you want a big OS orgy, where you can get just about everything for just about every OS?

    Yes, but I don't think Microsoft shares that vision. Actually, I am sure that they don't. I'm sure their vision is the exact opposite. As I said, I expect that they will only supply things for other platforms as long as it serves some purpose for them. Once it no longer suits them they will let that product die on the vine.

    A thought like that sure sounds good to me.

    As I said before, only if there is a long term commitment to the products being and staying viable.

  • I tried it. It should probably be more appropriately called "Bugger". Whenever I left a page that used MIDI, it popped up an error message. MPEG movies had horrendous playback quality, and whatever MPEG program it was working with apparently feels the need to spam a message onto standard output, which Plugger then decided to pass on to me with an insane number of popup windows. I didn't feel masochistic enough to try any other formats, so it got the old "rpm -e".
    --
  • Really? I never had those problems. When did you use this? Maybe I have a newer version. I haven't had a single error message come up, and granted mpeg is bad, but I think a little script reworking will get it to not make the mpeg window larger then the size of the video (stretch, as the case may be). I was looking into xanim flags and command line options and the /etc/pluggerrc file to see about resizing it. If it's been a while since you used it, I recommand giving it another chance.. =]

He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.

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