So the court case about Windows Media player rolls on, albeit that it’s somewhat obsolete. The court case, not the software. More on it in a minute…
Microsoft contend that customers don’t want a media player free version of Windows. They’ve not sold a copy. This isn’t, perhaps, surprising. I’d have bought one, except none were actually available to consumers. Also, given the choice between the two versions, just with or without Media player, for the same price, well, people will choose with. Even if they don’t want it.
It’s like, given the choice of a burger with a gherkin, or searching all over the place for a burger without a gherkin, most people will accept the easy to find burger, and TAKE OUT THE GHERKIN. Much the same has happened here – except that people can’t take the gherkin out as Microsoft have tied it to the OS. Again. Internet Explorer – ring any bell? And that worked, didn’t it?
I digress. Instead, what most people have to do is just put up with having Windows Media Player, and use another if they want to. And people are, and Microsoft point to this as being a sign of how it hasn’t monopolised the market.
Well, they’re right, they haven’t taken the market – their product isn’t good enough. Windows Media player has a rubbish user interface, and the only thing I’ve been able to reliably view with it are Microsoft Webcasts. Everything else, I seem to have problems with codecs, and so on.
So it isn’t good enough – yet. And that’s the thing, that’s what the court case should be about. When it is a good enough media player, that’ll be it for the competition. Just like Internet Explorer.
I’ve not found a media player I’m entirely happy with – but Winamp is (surprisingly) pretty okay. I guess if it does follow the history of IE, I’ll have to wait for a bunch of enthusiastic, disgruntled techies to write something better.