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Microsoft to end Mac support in Windows Media?

But not the end of the love-in

Despite the new five-year deal between Apple and Microsoft, it appears at least one Redmond product team is being reshuffled: the Windows Media for Mac mob.

"Consumers and content professionals are demanding ways to view Windows Media content on the Macintosh using the platform and tools they know," said Kevin Unangst, director of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft.

Mac users don't need to feel too out in the cold. Microsoft has instead reached a deal with innovative software developer Telestream which means Windows Media content (at least unprotected content) will play in QuickTime. Mac users will just have to download Telestream's Windows Media Components for QuickTime, which Microsoft will not distribute for free.

Windows Media Components for QuickTime is powered by Telestream's impressive Flip4Mac technology. The Windows Media components enable Mac OS X users to play Windows Media video and audio directly within QuickTime Player.

"Microsoft's decision to offer Flip4Mac technology as a Windows Media playback option is a tribute to the benefits of our QuickTime-based solution for Mac users," said Dan Castles, CEO of Telestream. "It underscores Microsoft's confidence in Telestream and our Flip4Mac brand. In just one year's time, Flip4Mac has achieved tremendous success and acceptance by both Apple enthusiasts and partners."

The Windows Media Components for QuickTime add Windows Media playback support to the QuickTime Player and Safari web browser. Once installed, it allows Mac users to view Windows Media video and audio content from within their existing QuickTime applications. It also provides the first solution for full playback of high-definition Windows Media on a Mac.

The company also offers a range of other Flip4Mac Windows Media components to provide the ability to import for editing and export Windows Media from within QuickTime-based applications.

This story first appeared on Macworld.co.uk.


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