Ok, so Microsoft released their version of Windows XP without Windows Media Player in it. My question is this. Will anyone actually buy it? And if so, why? As was mentioned in the article, you can uninstall Windows Media Player easily enough in XP. So, what is the big deal about having it or not? I would have thought something like Internet Explorer would have been their bargaining point, since you can’t uninstall it.
I’m one of the rare people who likes both Windows and Linux. And, I think they should, not just can, live together in a world (or home). And, in fact, if you check out sourceforge.net, you’ll see a lot of examples of where programs are being created to work with both Windows and Unix systems (including Linux).
The one thing the EU is asking for, that I highly doubt we will ever see, is the releasing of source-code for Windows. The EU is asking that Microsoft release this source code to competitors, so they can design products that will better communicate with the Operating Systems. Since the biggest competitor of Windows is Linux, you won’t see this happen. Because in order for the Linux community to create the Open Source versions that will communicate with Windows, they would have to release the source code as Open Source. Otherwise it would force some companies to close the source code for their versions of Linux.
Back to the original article, the computer manufacturers mentioned (Sony and Dell) won’t be putting XP N on their computers as a standard, and quite a few stores in Europe don’t even plan on stocking the software. The version is being offered at the same price as the full-featured version. So, given the options, people will buy the full version anyhow.. Since, in their eyes, you’re getting more for your money.
I can see where this is going next. The EU is going to complain that Microsoft shouldn’t be charging the same price for the XP N version, as they are for the regular XP.. Since it’s not the “full version” of the software. So, facing more lawsuits, Microsoft will probably lower the price, and a few more people will purchase it, since they can’t afford the regular version. One question that hasn’t been answered is this. In order to use Media Player, you have to download the one you want to use. Is the download free? I know RealPlayer isn’t. And WinAmp may be, but they limit it in some ways (their Pro version, for $14.95 USD, offers the ability to Rip/Encode MP3’s and Burn CDs up to 48x).
I still can’t see how this is a victory against Microsoft’s “monopoly”. Because in the end, the only true “Free” Media Player out there, other than Open Source ones, is Microsoft’s Windows Media Player. So, people pay for something that doesn’t have the program, then download it for free. But, they’re not getting any bargains. Because they’re paying the same price, whether it’s installed or they download it.
Let me know your opinions on this. And, let me know if you’re planning on buying the “N” version or not.