Microsoft Updates Windows Media Player for Macs

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2003-11-10 Print this article Print

Microsoft updates Media Player to match Panther's look-and-feel and to playback from within multiple browsers.

Microsoft Corp., about two weeks after Apple Computer Inc. released the Panther release of its Mac OS X, quietly unveiled a new version of its Windows Media Player for Mac users. Windows Media Player 9 for Mac OS X, made available for download in English on Friday, includes an updated user interface to match the brushed-steel look of the Mac OS X 10.3 release, Microsoft confirmed on Monday. The latest Windows Media version also provides new Web browser plug-in support. Not only does it support Microsofts Internet Explorer but it also has plug-ins for Apples Safari browser and the Netscape browser so that Windows Media files can be played back from within the browser, the company said.
Microsofts continued Mac support for Windows Media contrasts sharply with its approach to development of a Web browser for the platform. After Apple launched its own Safari browser in January 2003 and then included it with Mac OS X, Microsoft in June said it plans to end development of new Mac versions of its market leading Internet Explorer browser.
Microsoft last released a Windows Media version for the Mac in January 2002 to support Apples first release of Mac OS X. Other new features in the latest Windows Media release include support for the Windows Media 9 Series codec and support for playing content secured with Microsoft Windows Media Rights Manager version 1.3. The new Mac release of Windows Media 9 runs on Mac OS X version 10.1.5 or later. Microsoft said it also will continue to offer it Windows Media 7.1 for Mac to support users of older Mac operating systems. Along with the English version, Microsoft later this week plans to make versions of the release available for French, German, Japanese and Swedish.
Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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