Citing "business priorities," Microsoft will no longer develop Windows Media Player (WMP) for the Mac. This comes days after Microsoft announced continued Mac support for Office at the Macworld Keynote. That agreement only dealt with Office, giving it free reign to axe anything else. Microsoft has already dropped Internet Explorer for Mac.
That leaves MSN Messenger, Virtual PC, and of course Office for the Mac Business Unit (MBU) to develop. Losing WMP for Mac may sound bad, but this is really good news. Having Internet Explorer and Windows Media for Mac out of the way, they have more time to devote to the remaining three products.
Roz Ho, MBU General Manager, stated at Macworld that MSN Messenger would be updated in the coming months. Microsoft has also stated that it still plans to develop Virtual PC for the Mac. I just hope the next version of Virtual PC is not as dog slow as version 7. Seeing as the next iteration of Virtual PC will allegedly be a Universal Binary, it remains to be seen how well it performs on both PowerPC and Intel based Macs.
Those who remember "FAT" Mac applications when Apple switched from Motorola to PowerPC chips cringe at the thought of this new Universal Binary format. But compilers have come a long way since Apple used Motorola 680X0 series chips, and from the sounds of it, Universal Binaries are not as bad to work with. But back to the point...
What is a Mac user to do with no Windows Media Player for Mac OS X? Use a superior product, of course! Microsoft itself is now distributing Flip4Mac Windows Media Components for QuickTime free of charge. Grab version 2.0 from the Microsoft site, then download 2.01 from VersionTracker.