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The Lamest Excuse I've Ever Heard

A few posts ago I went on a rant because Windows will not play a simple DVD without a third party driver. So if you buy Windows off the shelf for 100 bucks you have to (according to Microsoft) pay 30 dollars more just to play a DVD.

Mind you, it comes with "Windows Media Player" which will play a DVD *after* you go to a Microsoft web site and pony up your extra 30 clams.

I was especially annoyed because the base Macintosh OS has played DVDs for probably about 5 years and if you've bought a Mac in the last 3 years or so, you have the ability to edit digital video and CREATE DVDs.

My argument was that in late 2004, a consumer OS should play a damn DVD! You don't have to get third party software to get on the internet anymore, are DVDs new cutting edge technology the Microsoft does not fully support yet? Get real.

A herd of Microsoft apologist jumped up in the comments and said that it would work with 3rd party software. I knew that. That was my whole point. I should be able to stick in a damn movie and have it play!

After I restated that point the apologists settled on a simple defense. Here are a few samples:

"If someone filed an anti-trust suit against Apple every time they included a new feature, this feature wouldn't be there either."

"The points about Anti-trust lawsuits etc are also well taken."

"..you might recall from the anti-trust suit, if you weren't so caught up in your mac zealotry to notice, that this was a core component of the anti-microsoft case. "

"and for the record, Pete was right about the anti-trust case."

"Paul has a problem with Windows XP not having a useable DVD player as part of the operating system. For that he can blame the Justice Department and over-zealous state attorneys general. They spent years going after Microsoft for "unfairly" bundling Internet Explorer. Microsoft doesn't want to have to deal with that again so a Windows XP user must use a third-party player."

After years of reading Microsoft apologists, I've now seen the lamest excuse I've ever seen for a Microsoft shortcoming.

"Microsoft would LOVE to make a better operating system, but those darn lawyers just won't let them."

Pathetic guys, truly pathetic.

Amazingly, I need to update this below the fold.

UPDATE: For the record folks, nobody has sued MS over a DVD codec.

People who are incapable admitting the Microsoft might -just maybe- have done something lame, have said that a lawsuit almost a decade ago is the reason MS left the codec out today. (But MS managed to try to take over everything else in the world)

No- they left it out because they are idiots!

How freaking hard is it for some people to admit Microsoft messed something up?

Instead, they make up whacky theories to excuse a shortcoming. Why not say Bill Gates was bit by a rabid DVD as a child and now he has a phobia about DVDs?

It is about as likely.


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Comments (38)

I dunno, the fact that the ... (Below threshold)

I dunno, the fact that the government won't allow you to do something sounds to me like a pretty valid excuse, if a frustrating one.

LMAO at the M$ apologists. ... (Below threshold)
donho:

LMAO at the M$ apologists. If lawyers and the government are what's preventing a DVD from being played on a base installation of Windows, than please explain how I can play a DVD on Linux? (for free)

FWIW: Not a hard-core techi... (Below threshold)
quiggs:

FWIW: Not a hard-core techie, but when I ran into this, people (whom I trust) told me the deal was that the necessary software was proprietary and owned by people who refused to license it to M$. To that attitude, I say: F*** yeah!

Come on people, no need for... (Below threshold)
Slarti:

Come on people, no need for such vitriol over this. we're starting to sound like the barking moonbats that we deride. lol.

OK folks let's think this o... (Below threshold)
Paul:

OK folks let's think this one thru....

Apple can do it.

Those Linows people can do it.

Multiple other vendors will sell you the codec for 30 bucks and they aren't in jail.

There are 10 bazillion DVD players for sale at Walmart for a starting price of around 30 bucks and those people don't get arrested by the "DVD Police."

Is it possible -just maybe possible- that perhaps (gasp) Microsoft did something wrong?

I'll get the rope and the matches.

This is America! Bill Gates... (Below threshold)
PTG:

This is America! Bill Gates should loosen up and hire more lawyers. Better, more expensive lawyers than the government can afford. Hell, hire the govenment lawyers away from their bothersome jobs. There shouldn't be any problem with government that money can't solve.

Hey paul you mean the compu... (Below threshold)

Hey paul you mean the computer manufacturers got something wrong. Microsoft doesn't sell computers, they sell software. its the COMPUTER MANUFACTURER that you bought it from that didn't bother including it. Or maybe didn't bother to include the installation cd that came with your DVD-Rom (or +/- R) drive.

But yes, Microsoft gets quite a few things wrong, and frankly, I'm sick of a debate that is complete opinion.

Henry, you are blaming the ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Henry, you are blaming the people who make the hardware because Microsoft did not include it in the software.

Tell me you don't vote or drive.

What are you talking about ... (Below threshold)
Jim Hines:

What are you talking about Paul? Any computer that comes with a DVD player also comes with the software to play the DVD's. Even if you just went out and bought the DVD player and installed it will come with a software application that will play your DVD's. Heck I bought a box of cereal once that came with a free demo PC game in it and it had the DVD playing software bundled with it. Windows Media player will use those codecs to play DVD's. Windows Movie Maker is as good as iMovie. Hard to beat iDVD though. Don't get me started on Linux. If you aren't a computer geek it aint for you. The vast majority can't even work an Apple or an IBM compatible windows box...they aren't going to be into compiling kernels and configuring sound cards. Apple shmapple....it's proprietary with them....their way or the highway......compatability problems up the ying yang. Of course they just give away the codecs with only 2% of the desktops running their OS who's going to sue them for anti trust. System X is like molasses.

Jim because you don't make ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Jim because you don't make a habit of it, I won't slam you for not reading the posts.

Please read them. It is self explanatory.

Believe it or not it's prob... (Below threshold)

Believe it or not it's probably cost saving. License fees for the specific technologies involved in DVD playback are not trivial (at least until 2006ish when the patents start to expire). Given that XP Pro is $200+ anyway that probably seems like the world's smallest violin, but :)

eh, I guess your arguement ... (Below threshold)
DrObviousSo:

eh, I guess your arguement that you want everything done for you ahead of time (the upside) is worth not being able to have as many options (the downside) just doesn't hold water with some people (ie PC users), but will with others (ie MAC users).

I myself perfer my car to be street legal as upposed to being solar powered.

GET A MAC... ;P... (Below threshold)
Troy:

GET A MAC... ;P

Your right no one has sued ... (Below threshold)
chad:

Your right no one has sued Microsoft for using a DVD codec. The EU sued to make them rip Media player out of windows as an illegal bundle. And won BTW, so now MS has to prepare a separate version for sale in the EU without Media player, in case they lose their appeal before the European Court of First Instance. They have been sued over multimedia plug ins in the US but they settled. I'm not saying that is the entire reason MS doesn't have a codec but I am sure it contributed. And don't forget that the MPAA did sue someone who wrote his own DVD playback codec for Linux and won.

Wasnt the suit against MS ... (Below threshold)
bains:

Wasnt the suit against MS not specifically aimed at the bundled IE, but at the interfaces between necessary systems and peripheral software precluding computer neophytes from readily using non-MS applications e.g. Netscape?

I understand little of what... (Below threshold)
The Old Coot:

I understand little of what's being discussed here but watching you kids fuss and fight is more fun than trolling over at Kos or DU.

Troy, simply "getting a Ma... (Below threshold)
Lysander:

Troy, simply "getting a Mac" isn't the answer. There's software packages that do not run under anything other than native Windows. Besides that, when a Mac has trouble, there's little I alone can do for it, I don't know the "guts" of the Mac OS, or even how to get a command prompt. Put me on a PC, different story. I don't necessarily like Microsoft for some things (e.g. Firefox beta is better than IE, but it's not a 100% replacement; I have to use IE about once or twice every other day for some things.) but for an OS, I haven't found anything that fits the bill. I've used a Mac, I've used unix, linux, VMS, DOS (PC, MS, etc), (vaguely remember looking at a CP/M screen, but can't claim I used it!) , and all Windows versions since 3.0.

Now, for the issue at hand, I don't know why you're having a codec problem, I can only say I have run into codec problems twice, but not for DVDs. Whether that's because I'd already gotten WinAmp, and was using it (and it has codecs, I know) or what, I can't say. And, this is on machines that were "stock," "custom built" and anything in between (the only machines I've owned that have stayed stock past 6 months were laptops.) What I will say is avoid WinMe and it's bastard clone WinXPHome. I haven't found a good reason for using either other than "The company bought it, and I'll be damned if I pay money out of my own pocket to upgrade it." >:)

Damn, forgot to mention OS/... (Below threshold)
Lysander:

Damn, forgot to mention OS/2:Warp. Told IBM where to stick it - back in "the days" when a 1gb HDD was (a) bloody huge and (b) bloody expensive, I tried OS/2 on my 486/66. It wouldn't work with the 1gb drive, and IBM tech support was less helpful than a French DU'er. That nailed it for any IBM-badged OS for me.

Lysander

Since we are comparing appl... (Below threshold)
Lazy_Man:

Since we are comparing apples and oranges with Microsoft and Apple I would just like to say doesn't it make alot more logical sense to sell the software and make a dime than give it away at a significantly lower price? Or is it the fact that the MAC Panther stuff is 129.00 while the XP can be found for 100.00. Is it easily presumable that your dvd playing software is figured in that price for the MAC???????

They didn't leave it out be... (Below threshold)
Sean:

They didn't leave it out because they are idiots. Don't be silly. They left it out because they knew you wanted and were pretty sure you would pay to have it. They're making more money this way. Third party codec you say? I'll guarantee that MS is getting a good chunk of that money for the "honor" of supplying the proper codec.

When you guys are done with... (Below threshold)
Dan:

When you guys are done with this, can anyone here help me with a problem I'm having with my eight track?

I gotta get more q-tips and some alcohol. Damn.

Sorry Lazyman, I see you go... (Below threshold)
Sean:

Sorry Lazyman, I see you got there first. I, of course, (being a lazy man myself) didn't bother to read the previous comments before jumping into the discussion.

Look...all I want is a righ... (Below threshold)

Look...all I want is a right click. Give me the dang right click. Macs don't have that standard. Sure...you can get a right click mouse...but that's extra. Sure...you can hold down control (I think?) and then click...but that's more work.

Give me a freakin right click...then we'll discuss Mac superiority. Until then...I'll download one of the many free codecs out there to play DVD's...or just install the ones that come built into the DVD.

That is all.

Jeremy perhaps you need "R... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Jeremy perhaps you need "Right Click" therapy? ;-)

Use any 2 button mouse on a Mac and it works fine. (scroll wheel too)

"Look...all I want is a rig... (Below threshold)
Henry:

"Look...all I want is a right click. Give me the dang right click. Macs don't have that standard. Sure...you can get a right click mouse...but that's extra. Sure...you can hold down control (I think?) and then click...but that's more work.

Give me a freakin right click...then we'll discuss Mac superiority. Until then...I'll download one of the many free codecs out there to play DVD's...or just install the ones that come built into the DVD.

That is all."

Amen brother, Amen.

Actually Paul, I'm not blaming the people who manufacture the hardware, I'm blaming the bastards who put YOUR computer together for not including a DVD codec (that you could readily access) when your computer apparently has a DVD-ROM drive.

Paul, when you purchase a computer, usually it comes BUNDLED with software preloaded. Usually bundled in that software somewhere is a DVD codec (or player). I hate it, too that that software bundle really only contains shareware, but at least its something.

And yes, if Apple had tried to sell the Macintosh in Europe now, they'd be sued like crazy to get all their crap out of it so that "free business" could ensue.

But Paul...I'd have to pay ... (Below threshold)

But Paul...I'd have to pay EXTRA for the two button mouse. It doesn't come standard.

How freakin hard is it for some people to admit Macintosh messed something up?

;-)

Henry- SIGH- They sell Macs... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Henry- SIGH- They sell Macs in Europe. AND no they have not been sued.

geeze man get over it!

Nice try Jeremy. But you missed.

You lose no FUNCTIONALITY by having a single button. In is a workflow issue.

2 buttons confuse newbies because they don't know which one to push.

I don't NEED a second button to do my job. I've done just fine for years.

Nice try but I smelled the set-up a mile away.

Eh Sorry for letting myself... (Below threshold)
Henry:

Eh Sorry for letting myself get broiled up, Paul

You like Mac over PC. That's fine.

I like...well I really don't have any preferences just whatever I'm using I'm using. That's fine.

I'm not going to discuss this anymore.

Oh but come on...it was fun... (Below threshold)

Oh but come on...it was funny. You know it was.

For the record I worked all summer on a new G5 server...it was unbelievable. Of course when it came out of the box it didn't work...but I fixed it. Because I'm good like that.

If someone were going to give me a computer with no expense spared...I'd probably take a Mac.

It's not the job of the OS ... (Below threshold)
Zeda:

It's not the job of the OS to play DVDs. It is the job of user applications to play DVDs.

When you plug in a CF card with digital images on it, you don't expect Apple to include Adobe Photoshop?

As a free-market capitalist and HTPC enthusiast I enjoy the healthy competition between WinDVD, PowerDVD, Zoom Player, TheaterTek and all the other players/codecs. They have differing degress of visual quality and have different audio filters for DTS, DD5.1 and others. But you wouldn't know this because you just use whatever crap Apple gave you.

You want Microsoft and Apple to pick one crappy program and slap it on the system for you so that you don't have to choose and thus don't want companies to have to compete for your choice. There's a word for that and it's communism.

Oh- I didn't say it wasn't ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Oh- I didn't say it wasn't funny. Just that I knew it was coming. ;-)

P

Hey, stop bashing the Mac p... (Below threshold)
JSchuler:

Hey, stop bashing the Mac people! I mean, is your PC as stylish as a cheese grater? I think not!

But Paul...I'd have to p... (Below threshold)
Anne:

But Paul...I'd have to pay EXTRA for the two button mouse. It doesn't come standard.

How freakin hard is it for some people to admit Macintosh messed something up?

I was utterly confused the first time I went into a Mac Lab and saw one giant button across the mouse. I could not figure it out at first, and then when I did, I couldn't fathom why the R-click wasn't on there.

Anne -sigh- You weren't a n... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Anne -sigh- You weren't a newbie then were you.

as I said:

2 buttons confuse newbies because they don't know which one to push.

2 buttons confuse newbie... (Below threshold)
JSchuler:

2 buttons confuse newbies because they don't know which one to push.

For a whole five seconds. Then they push one or the other, and find out one opens a submenu and the other actually does the clicking. I've seen complete computer illiterates get the hang of three button mice no problem (granted, they simply ignore the middle button). If you're confused by a two button mouse for any length of time then trying to work a keyboard must be absolutely dumbfounding.

Or is it the fact that t... (Below threshold)
Ernie:

Or is it the fact that the MAC Panther stuff is 129.00 while the XP can be found for 100.00.

You can find MAC upgrades for less than the 129.00 price also. I got my last upgrade for 108.00.

If someone tells you that they fix MAC as much as PC's, you have to think that whoever had the problem with the MAC, should not have a computer because they must have a IQ of 90. The reason your PC has windows is because of the MAC.

The reason your PC has w... (Below threshold)
JSchuler:

The reason your PC has windows is because of the MAC.

Actually, it's because of Xerox. But thanks for playing.

Check out the latest Window... (Below threshold)
George:

Check out the latest Windows threats:
http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/vinfodb.html#threat_list

'nuff said.




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