TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Microsoft to Stop Developing Media Software

Microsoft to Stop Developing Media Software

Allison Linn (
Sat, 14 Jan 2006 15:41:06 -0600

By ALLISON LINN, AP Business Writer

Microsoft Corp. will stop developing a version of its Windows Media
Player for Apple Computer Inc.'s Macs, and will instead offer free
technology that lets people play Windows Media files using Apple's own

The company decided to stop developing the Mac version so it could
focus on efforts for Vista, the new version of Microsoft's Windows
operating system that is due out later this year, said Tim Harader, a
senior business development manager with Microsoft's Windows digital
media division.

"We've been so focused on Vista and we've been so focused on creating
an incredible media experience on the PC," Harader said Friday. "We
just did not have the resources to do a good job on (the Mac

Apple computers represent about 4 percent of the U.S. market. PCs
running Microsoft's Windows operating system comprise the vast

Microsoft said it would continue to offer the current version but
won't make any more improvements to it. The software maker has signed
a deal with Nevada City, Calif.-based Telestream Inc. to offer a free
plug-in that will let people play Windows Media video and audio files
using Apple's QuickTime player.

Because Microsoft's media player for Macs has not been updated for
quite some time, Harader said the quality of some Windows Media files
could be better if people used the plug-in and QuickTime.

In 2004, Microsoft also said it would stop making a version of its
Internet Explorer browser for Macs.

But just days ago, Microsoft said it had signed a five-year pact with
Apple to continue to develop versions of its Office business software
for Macs. The company said the deal was partly to show customers that
it has a long-term commitment to the Mac market.

Unlike the free Web browser and media player, Microsoft's Office
software for Mac sells for between $149 and $499.

Apple declined to comment.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.

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