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MS Releases New Media Player Firefox Plugin 191

SilentChris writes "Microsoft today released a new Media Player plugin for Firefox that resolves the problems users of the older version were experiencing. According to the company's Port 25 blog, it's backwards compatible with Windows Media Player 6.4. The plugin is for Windows XP and Vista only, but if you have to watch WMV video at least it's less likely to crash your browser."
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MS Releases New Media Player Firefox Plugin

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  • by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @04:28PM (#18772707) Journal
    I simply say NO to .wmv files... meh, no big loss so far as I can tell.
    • I downloaded the plugin just to give it a try. Never had any problems with embedded video except at I thought maybe the plugin would fix that problem. After installing and giving firefox a restart, it still won't work with the and nothing else appears to be different. Not sure what the point of the plugin was, but don't waste your time with it like I did. It solved nothing from what it appears to me. Using Firefox on Windows XP Pro SP2
      • by michrech ( 468134 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @05:39PM (#18773887)
        I downloaded the plugin just to give it a try. Never had any problems with embedded video except at I thought maybe the plugin would fix that problem. After installing and giving firefox a restart, it still won't work with the and nothing else appears to be different. Not sure what the point of the plugin was, but don't waste your time with it like I did. It solved nothing from what it appears to me. Using Firefox on Windows XP Pro SP2

        Worked perfectly for me in Vista Enterprise. I didn't even have to restart Firefox ( I'll be testing an XP machine I just put together shortly.

        For those wishing not to use this update, for whatever your reasons, you can take three .dll files from an XP/WMP10 install and have working embedded video in Firefox under Vista.

        Those three files are : npdsplay.dll, npdrmv2.dll, and npwmsdrm.dll

        The last two are most likely optional, but I copied them anyway. The only drawback (if you can really call it that) is that the lower part of the embedded window are cut off by a few pixels, but it works perfectly fine.

        Luckily for me, I'm surrounded by roughly 1800-ish XP machines, so I had no problems finding the files. I'm sure you all have someone you know with an XP machine that you could grab a copy of these files from.

        This information is also available at various web pages if you look in Google.
        • npdsplay.dll, npdrmv2.dll, and npwmsdrm.dll

          All in 8.3 format. Filesystem problems? I guess Apple's "C:ngrtltns.w95" ad was a bit premature.
          • Is your CNN video all discolored like from a 70's Acid Trip?

            1) Open a video
            2) Right click on video, choose "options"
            3) For the "video Acceleration" section, move down to "none". This is the setting to put it at if you have having playback issues. 4) Fixed! (at least for all my computers this happened to).
          • Most Netscape plugins seem to have fairly short names. For example: npnul32.dll (The Default plugin), npswf32.dll (Flash), nppl3260.dll (RealPlayer)...

            The exception is quicktime, which uses npqtplugin7.dll (and other plugins with differences in the number).

            Did I mention that all these are filenames from the about:plugins [about] box on Firefox
        • by Zarel ( 900479 )

          For those wishing not to use this update, for whatever your reasons, you can take three .dll files from an XP/WMP10 install and have working embedded video in Firefox under Vista.

          Those three files are : npdsplay.dll, npdrmv2.dll, and npwmsdrm.dll

          The last two are most likely optional, but I copied them anyway. The only drawback (if you can really call it that) is that the lower part of the embedded window are cut off by a few pixels, but it works perfectly fine.

          It depends on the video. On some videos, a large part of the actual video is cut off (compare screenshots of WMP10 dll hack [] with MS plugin [] taken from this post []), and in others, the embedded video is much smaller than it should be with no way to resize it (other than full-screen).

        • by Sam Ramji ( 1089763 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @10:29PM (#18777255) Homepage
          The reason the new plugin is better than just installing the three older files (which are the NPAPI compatibility libraries shipped with WMP 6.4 and previous) is that it expands the programmatic access to the WMP component - it's now fully scriptable from Firefox, with forward/back/pause features etc.

          So use whichever one you like, but I am personally a Firefox user and prefer the experience with the new WMP 11 plugin. YMMV.

          Also, in case you were wondering why it's a .exe instead of a .xpi, after talking with the guys at Mozilla we realized that the user experience for installing a .exe was better and additionally fit the Firefox model better. It's a plugin, not an extension; if you review the Adobe plugins they are also delivered as .exes.

          Sam Ramji
          Director, Open Source Software Lab
          Microsoft Corporation
    • by @madeus ( 24818 )
      I've tried saying 'NO, BAD FILE!' and 'BE AN MPEG!' but it doesn't seem to make them play.

      Firefox on Windows seems pretty sketchy with it's media support, by default there seem to be some handlers for relevant mime types missing (works fine once they are added manually though).

      I was mostly having problems with WMV files (though also with some MPEG's), hopefully this will make things better (my only Windows machine is for gaming, so I tend to be using it to look at game related info when I'm browsing - which
      • WOW! (Score:4, Funny)

        by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @05:05PM (#18773295) Journal
        I've got some servers that your management might be interested in, they're very expensive, but worth every penny, I promise!
        • Hrmm... only if its an old 8086 with loads of those "Core 2 Duo" and "Intel Inside" stickers on it that magically improve clockspeed by 2 or 3GHz per sticker...
      • This will help me quite a bit. I create courses in Blackboard and using the wmv files, I can embed nice little videos without a streaming server. It's really easy, but it never worked properly in Firefox. It always autostarted the video no matter how I changed the code.

        Now it works. THIS is how Microsoft should be spending its time. Giving me stuff I can use, you know?

        While you're at it, MS, how about giving me a really clean version of Windows, sort of an updated XP without all the bullshit in Vista.
  • Wow. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by P2PDaemon ( 723609 )
    Wow. I'm actually pleasantly surprised. Did anyone see this coming?
    • Well that's interesting. It's useful if you want to be able to play DRM'd WMV10 video, which VLC can't play for obvious reasons.

      Although I'd probably stick to the 3rd party WMV implementations for most of the other stuff if only because it'll all sit in one piece of media software.
    • Re:Wow. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TopSpin ( 753 ) * on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @07:31PM (#18775599) Journal

      Did anyone see this coming?
      Yes. Two reasons: a.) flash is dominating online video because it's lightweight and cross platform and b.) Firefox can no longer be ignored.

      I know a is true because (probably) like you, I'm watching a lot of online video, and I'm much more likely to do so if it's flash. I know b is true because clients of the company I'm contracting for have just (yesterday) decided to shift priorities and get a port of an existing ActiveX control running in Firefox, rather than develop the next release of the IE software.

      Microsoft doesn't want WMV to become irrelevant simply because it doesn't work without IE. It doesn't address the cross platform issue but at least Firefox+Windows users won't be hindered.

      We just saw a story here about Firefox holding 25% of the European market. You can't walk away from that when Adobe is lunching on your market share. No way.

  • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @04:29PM (#18772719)
    Thanks Microsoft, but I've already got VLC [].
  • mplayerplug-in (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    eh.. so what's wrnog with mplayerplug-in?
    • by fnj ( 64210 )
      eh.. so what's wrnog with mplayerplug-in?

      You mean, besides the fact that it constantly crashes Firefox, and doesn't support all WMV formats?
  • Meh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Jekler ( 626699 )

    It smacks of desperation that Microsoft tries so hard to exclude Linux from any software they release. If they don't loosen up that strangle-hold, their company is going to choke to death.

    It's sad that a company with so much money and talent is completely unwilling to adapt to the times. They're clinging to an age of computing that has long since passed. 10 years ago, web tools, platform interoperability and independence, and transparent company operations could have been classified as a trend, but tho

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mandelbr0t ( 1015855 )
      Microsoft desperate? I wish.

      But they have decided that there are enough corporate Firefox deployments that they can't afford to lose those potential WMV viewers. Any other pressure just slides right past Microsoft; they don't pay, so they don't matter.
      • Re:Meh (Score:4, Interesting)

        by hpavc ( 129350 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @04:51PM (#18773067)
        Its something they can point to in court that will save them a lot more than it cost to develop it.

        Wonder who will get blamed for the arbitrary code executions in the thing, Firefox or Microsoft. Every vulnerability/bug media player has will likely point to Firefox, instantly overnight Firefox's vulnerability/bug list will jump in size.
    • They made WMV work on windows. Thats a shocker. Its actually a difficult process to port an application from one platform to another. Sure, they might have tried very hard to prevent it from working on linux, but they really didn't have to.

      Sort of like, how I don't have to issue a restraining order on Celine Dion. Sure, if she showed up at my house at 2:00 in the morning on an ongoing basis, I'd do what ever it took to keep her away. But, thankfully she has yet to show up despite the lack of any legal, o
    • Re:Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheCRAIGGERS ( 909877 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @04:45PM (#18772997)
      So.... you're expecting Microsoft to spend money to help out the competition?

      Yes, usually format owners want their format to be usable on as many platforms as possible. However, in this case, they already have dominance. I don't see how supporting Linux is going to help them at all, and they probably see it the same way.

      The flip side is there probably aren't too many Linux users out there that would use it anyway, especially when mplayer works just fine usually. I know I wouldn't use it.
      • by Kelson ( 129150 ) *
        Not unlike Quicktime and iTunes. Apple ported Quicktime to Windows to ensure dominance over video players. It didn't work, but they did the same with iTunes when it became clear that there was a market for iPods among Windows users. However, you'll note that after a decade, we still have no official Quicktime for Linux. And Apple shows no signs of interest in porting iTunes to Linux either.

        (Personally, I can take or leave iTunes itself, but it would be nice to have a Linux client which could access iTun
    • They don't even have to cooperate, they just should give up putting effort into competing. The big mantra of any organisation should be "customer focus", but most seem to be "comptetition focused".

      If MS put their efforts into great software, rather than trying to stomp competition, they could be something greter than they are.

      If they put their resources into assisting the entire industry they could be even greater.

    • by Tom ( 822 )

      It's sad that a company with so much money and talent is completely unwilling to adapt to the times.

      Actually, for this company it's natural. They only have their money because of their monopoly, and they only have the talent because of the money. If they lose their dominance, they'll be going down fast. There's enough material out there that elaborates how the MS stock is pumped up on expectations and how badly it could burst if they ever fail those by a wide margin. Lots of MS is based on their stock price, up to salaries. There really is no option for failure at MS, because the way Gates has maneuvered

    • Frankly, one of the reasons I absolutely detest windows is because everytime I am forced to use it, I also sooner or later run into having to replace that shitty piece of shit with something and it ALWAYS trying to come back in one form or another.

      I suppose I am alone in this but I absolutly HATE that even to get it running you have to agree to an EULA that has been proven to take extreme liberties with your rights, despite the fact that you already had to agree to a EULA when windows was installed.

      Then t

      • by Jekler ( 626699 )

        No, I don't want Windows Media Player for Linux with Microsoft's current disposition. What I would like is for Microsoft to convert their business practices. It can happen, some years ago IBM was practically the same enemy Microsoft is today, but now they're all about open source support.

        It would be nice if Microsoft expended fewer resources trying to secure a dominance over Google, Linux, Mozilla, and Sun. The vast amount of money and manpower that Microsoft has could be used to do good things, but th

  • by simp ( 25997 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @04:35PM (#18772831)
    /me looks around surprised. Everything is in flash players these days, isn't it? And if I want good quality video I download it from the newsgroups.

    Damn, just broke the first rule of newsgroups.
    • Damn, just broke the first rule of newsgroups.

      I don't think you have to worry too much. Almost nobody gets a decent newsfeed for free and the whole system is too problem-ridden for most people to cope with.

      The majority of effort is expended picking the low-hanging fruit.

      Also USENET has too many obvious non-infringing uses to destroy completely, and that would make the whole thing more difficult, so I'd guess they're saving it for last.

    • Re:wmv files??? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by blackmonday ( 607916 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @06:00PM (#18774305) Homepage
      You know who's guilty of using crappy MS streaming media? None other than You have 2 choices - Windows Media or Real. How's that for crappy choices.
      • Re:wmv files??? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Abalamahalamatandra ( 639919 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @06:50PM (#18775079)
        Just do what I do - decode the Javascript to find the actual location of the Real streams (I like the quality better than the WMV streams), then use command-line mplayer to stream it out and reencode it to MP3.

        Now if Apple would just release tools or docs for creating enhanced podcast files for something other than a crappy command-line tool for OSX, I could make a rocking NPR podcast with skippable segments, but noooo...
        • first off, maybe I'm not hardcore enough, but I'd consider that to be rather a bitch of a process to go through if you've got loads of that format to go through, and second off, I'm betting with good probability that redistributing somebody's media files without their consent (hard to get consent if you plan to do it in a format they'll never agree to - not to mention they wouldn't get paid for ads) is justifiably illegal in court...
          • Who said redistributing? It's for my personal use and not redistributed in any way. And I pay my local affiliate to offset the use, despite the fact that they suck and only air NPR on a crappy AM station that I can't even get half the places I want to listen to it. I'm looking at you, Colorado Public Radio.

            I didn't mean "podcast" in the sense of a publicly-posted one, I meant for me, hosted on my own Linux box and available in my house via Apache. My script grabs the playlist for the day's show, streams
        • by fm6 ( 162816 )
          I seem to be missing something here. If your preferences are set to "Real Player," the JavaScript just gives you a Real Player .rpm file (not to be confused with a Redhat Package Manager .rpm file) which contains nothing but a link to a server-side script such as this:

 type=2&date=17-Apr-2007&au=1&pid=46461311&random=2 665330363&guid=0002F9E2C31E0623396AF95A61626364&up f=Win32&v1st=CC0B245D6500441D&mtype=RM&topicNa

      • by fm6 ( 162816 )
        One thinks of NPR as a sort of liberal-hippie haven (no flames, please, I've been listening to them every day for longer than many Slashdotters have been alive; I'm a serious radio new junkie), but that's just the people on the air. Their management has pretty much the same culture as the rest of the media industry. Which means they're paranoid about having their content "stolen". So like the rest of the media, they use closed streaming formats.

        They're shooting themselves in the foot this way, at least with
  • Yeah, but will they ever release the Windows Media Player for Linux they promised a great many years ago?
  • oh, wait, it's our old overlords.

    Now I'm really confused.

    Guess I'll just go watch those music videos I've been wanting to watch in Firefox ever since I reported some of the earliest bugs for playing media years ago ... YEAH! BABY GOT VID!
  • by Tom ( 822 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @04:46PM (#18773011) Homepage Journal
    Damn, that would've been an interesting fight to watch - the we-must-keep-our-media-format-dominance department vs. the we-must-keep-our-browser-dominance department. :-)
    • The we-must-keep-our-operating-system-dominance department was likely behind this more than anyone. This is the department that ultimately runs Microsoft.

      And now they can claim that Windows Media is cross platform - works great in both IE on Windows and Firefox on Windows.

      Those are the only platforms that really matter, right?
      • by Tom ( 822 )
        The we-must-keep-our-operating-system-dominance department probably killed IE on Mac and Solaris, and for good reason. I doubt that they'll allow things to work the other way around (other browsers on windos). Because once people are used to Firefox, the switch to OSX or Linux isn't as painful anymore.

        I'm pretty sure this was a question of supporting .wmv even if it comes at the expense of IE (which is still strong, but has had a solid downwards trend for a long time). Plus it's easier to win a format war b
        • I dunno, I see it more as a move to make FireFox more useful on Windows than it is on Linux, and to make it harder to move from Windows to Linux. Kind of like Visual J++ gave Java features in Windows that didn't exist on other platforms, until Sun stopped that.

          Though the point about .wmv being more important than IE in the MS grand scheme is probably fair. They want .wmv and .wma to be able to compete with Adobe Flash and Apple's formats in the media space.

          And of course this is a rather minor move anyhow,
  • Zwha? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by eudaemon ( 320983 ) *
    Nothing against Microsoft, per se, but half the security of my browsing experience
    is that my Firefox has no Flash, MS, Acrobat, or Active-X plugins. If I really
    want to see content because someone has a flash-only site or WMV content, it gets
    downloaded and/or viewed on a UNIX machine. From a user account. On a machine I can afford
    to reformat at any time.

    WMV plugin? Why would I load that?

  • Yes even the great MS overlords now realise that Firefox has gained enough traction to force their hand. They want WMV to reign supreme and this means Firefox support.

    What would really surprise me is if it supported the Linux version of Firefox.
  • by VE3OGG ( 1034632 ) <> on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @04:50PM (#18773061)
    Use VLC. Short of protected media (and really, I don't know too many people who use protected WMV), it seems to work wonderfully, and isn't dependent on a only two operating systems. If you want something more integrated, there is of course M-Player as well...
    • by denis-The-menace ( 471988 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @05:00PM (#18773219)
      I don't know too many people who use protected WMV
      That's easy: Trojan writers.
      There's this "feature" to install licenses for WMA/WMV files that permit the covert installation of Trojans, backdoors and other malware.

      Stay away from .WMA/.MWV files like the plague they are!!!
      • by Kalriath ( 849904 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @06:02PM (#18774343)
        Actually, if Microsoft catches people installing trojans via the Licensing system, they revoke their license server. In case you weren't aware of what goes into getting the software to create protected WM* content:

        1. Obtain Code Signing certificate from Certification Authority (Verisign, Thawte, or Geotrust only), which entails;
            a. Providing CA with registered company name, phone number and physical address
            b. Providing CA with copy of phone bill to allow them to call technical owner of said registered company
            c. Paying through the arse (about $500 USD) for certificate to be generated
        2. Submit application to Microsoft. This is reviewed, then...
        3. Microsoft sends a blank OCX file, which you then sign with your code signing certficate and return
        4. Post back two copies of a signed contract which has your real name, registered company name, phone number, and physical address
            a. This contract says that you're dead meat if you distribute the software to ANYONE
        5. Wait for MS legal to verify details and countersign agreement
        6. Software is delivered to you via special extranet site which you probably didn't know existed
        7. Software requires certificate to issue licenses which is generated by visiting a certain URL on
        8. Software can have its ability to issue licenses revoked at any time by revoking this certificate

        As you can see, there's an assload of safeguards against what you say happens all the time, and Microsoft do revoke WMRM certificates for using them to install spyware or trojans. The contract then allows them to sue the person misusing the license manager SDK into oblivion as well, but I don't know whether they ever have or not.

        If you're going to make a statement, make sure to back it up with real experiences or knowledge. Yes, I do happen to know how this process works. A company I work with had to go through it recently.
        • by Breakfast Pants ( 323698 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @06:04PM (#18774381) Journal
          I'll just chime in with 'it happened to me'.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Kalriath ( 849904 )
            And the bastard who did it had their license revoked, without a doubt. People don't pay Microsoft for access to the WMRM software, so there is no benefit in them allowing partners with access to it to damage it's (admittedly already quite bad simply because of what it IS) reputation with no gain for them OR anyone else. Microsoft once issued a press release about this after someone was caught doing it, saying they fully intended to both revoke the offender's license and prosecute. Sure, I realise that it
            • Criminals can get way more than $500 with that certificate. Criminals have been known to do identity theft on whole corporations.

              So, by the economics of it all, this is a crime that pays quite well.
              • This is not an easy task. You would have to have your phone number changed to a large company's, you would have to get their telecom company to change their billing details to you (and then wait for the telecom company to mail a bill to you) and then you'd have to get the CA to issue a certificate using those details.

                CAs are not slack on the requirements of this sort of thing, not since that one time some idiot at Verisign allowed some hacker to get a certificate signed as "Microsoft Corporation".

                So no, I
                • by r00t ( 33219 )
                  "large company"???

                  You didn't list that as a requirement.

                  Instead, consider something like "CSPI, Inc.".

                  Forging a telephone bill is trivial, even if one sticks to the United States.

                  Identity theft of a corporation has made Slashdot before; search and you might find the article.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by hxnwix ( 652290 )
          Right out of the gate, I have to ask why Microsoft decided that producers of DRMed content should be allowed to execute arbitrary code. I know, I know, MS would probably say something along the lines of:

          It doesn't matter that they are perfectly capable of doing bad things with that code, and that a great many are strongly inclined to do exactly that. We'll eventually here about it (on the next business day or whenever) and submit a form 2731-43b to Verisign who will get around to adding the bad guy's cert to a CRL which you will probably download at some point. Once you have that CRL downloaded and installed, you'll be good to go - unless the spyware that we allowed onto your system mucks with CRL checking.

          But anyway, look. Sure, we authorized Rapetech DickShove LLC and they totally screwed your system before we could stop them. But, I mean, is there any way we could have seen this thing coming? Certainly not unless we watch porn, which we don't.

          OK, that wasn't very fair of us. Let me explain. Rapetech DickShove LLC's business PO Box checked out and someone answered the phone! Our lawyers thought they sounded nice enough!! What more could we have possibly done?! You clicked ok to the vista warning!

          Furthermore, spyware creators are just as capable of filling out stacks of forms and paying $500. And they'll get plenty of practice. Who is this masturbatory program meant to benefit? It doesn't even benefit masturbators!

          • First off, you cannot use a PO Box, we had our application suspended until we supplied a real, physical, address. Also, the certificate from Verisign or whatever is not ever seen by you and is not relevant.

            What happens when they revoke a dodgy guy's license server is that they invalidate the certificate ISSUED by a Microsoft CA (in realtime) TO their license server and their license server will fail its next check (which I understand occurs extremely frequently) and stop issuing licenses (or wrapping conte
            • by hxnwix ( 652290 )

              First off, you cannot use a PO Box, we had our application suspended until we supplied a real, physical, address.

              Say no more!

              j/k. I was more going for comic relief than an airing of my issues with Microsoft's Windows Media Digital Rape Machine. It's nice that they do CRL checking for you. It's obviously more than I expected from them. My issues with Microsoft code signing originally stem from my experience with Windows Mobile, where it is just about as useless. Except to Verisign, who you ought to know issues you your signing cert and a set # of signing "events," for which you pay, pay, pay, pay, pay, pay, pay,

    • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @05:32PM (#18773783) Homepage Journal
      I now use VLC as a substitute for everything, even as a DVD player. All commercial players, WMP, Quicktime, Realplayer are suspect. They all have the ability to take over the computer and launch other apps, at least the browser. I know the integration can be helpful, but we are not in the 1980's. I do know how to open an application on my own.
  • Why now? (Score:5, Informative)

    by MadJo ( 674225 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @04:57PM (#18773167) Homepage Journal
    Why would you need this plugin, when you have all sorts of different extensions dealing with this situation.
    Like for instance: mediaplayerconnectivity [].
    Look you can use any player you like, and you don't need to have the browser open anymore, while playing the video.

    I'm sorry Microsoft, but you are too little too late.

    • I love MediaPlayerConnectivity! It has the option to only play when you click on the button, which I really like! No more annoying songs playing without my knowledge. Occasionally I leave the volume up and forget to turn it down... which is not a pleasant sound. Especially if the music sucks.
  • I remember playing WMV files using proper media player ends up storing traces in Internet Explorers history list.
    Strange considering I was using firefox.

    Does the new one still have the same problem?
    • I remember playing WMV files using proper media player ends up storing traces in Internet Explorers history list.

      I don't know how it looks in more recent versions of WiMP, but on the latest ver on Windows 2000, you can go into options, click the "privacy" tab, and uncheck "Save File and URL history in the player" (this checkbox is also presented to you at install time so you can turn it off, along with several other privacy-related options.)

      Does that accomplish what you want?

      • by geekoid ( 135745 )
        It used to keep information anyways.
        I have no idea if this has been fixed since I dn't use windows multimedia player.

        I do use W2K, but I just refuse to update the media player.
  • I wonder if... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Whuffo ( 1043790 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @06:13PM (#18774517) Homepage Journal
    Do you suppose this special version of Media Player has a benefit to Microsoft? Of course it does; why waste programmers otherwise.

    So what does Microsoft get from this - besides that ephemeral "protect WMV market share" stuff?

    How about usage data? Media Player has been sending information back to MS for years; OS version, GUID, etc. Now they can also collect data about Firefox installs. I suspect that data has value to MS - and very well may be the reason for this unexpected release.

    It's not as though Firefox users haven't been able to view WMV files, is it?

    • by Zarel ( 900479 )

      It's not as though Firefox users haven't been able to view WMV files, is it?
      Actually, yes it is, Firefox users on Vista haven't been able to view WMV files without hacks. Even with hacks, videos inevitably have problems, as mentioned in this post []. It's really too bad the download link is down, I really needed it.
  • IE vs. WMP (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BRUTICUS ( 325520 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @06:53PM (#18775125)
    could this imply that MS considers Media Player more important than Internet Explorer now? I mean I couldn't really see MS providing apple with a plugin for Quicktime. Is MS getting serious about the media player war...and MP3 players?

    Zune 2.0
  • how to embed them so I can have that nice little player on my webpage? Has anyone tried with this new MS plugin?
  • As the download link now gives a 404 error, I can't test it out. Can you use it to play embedded MP3 and WAV files in FireFox? Is there any to to have it play Quicktime movies? I can't stand Quicktime and I can't stand its Firefox plugin. It makes MP3 files I want to download appear embedded instead and I believe it has problems with some MP3 files. I have QuickTimeAlternative installed, so I should be able to play Quicktime files in WMP. As least I can play them fullscreen that way, unlike with Quicktime.
  • Now that's a special kind of irony.
  • Clever strategy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by vga_init ( 589198 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @03:08AM (#18778819) Journal

    Microsoft has a clever strategy (they usually do).

    What it boils down to is fighting Linux. I'm a regular Linux user myself, and I'm in the habit of recommending certain cross platform applications for my friends and family to use. Browsing the web? Get Firefox. Chatting online? Get Gaim. Writing a paper? Get OpenOffice.

    These programs aren't right for everyone, naturally, but a lot of people actually do end up loving them. They can install them on Windows, try them out, and get comfortable with them. Later, when they are experiencing OS related issues, I can say "Oh, well why don't you install Linux?" Once they find out that Linux runs all the programs they use every day, they don't freak out or anything. It makes the migration completely natural.

    Plugins like this are sneaky because Microsoft is saying, "OK, you're going to use Firefox... I see how it is. Let's tie it to our platform to make sure you stick with our other software."

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"