Microsoft has never made much secret of the fact that keeping rival browsers down is a key part of its business plan.
Way back in 1996, Steve Ballmer (then still only the deputy CEO) cheerfully proclaimed: "Every minute of every day, we'll ask every Microsoft employee to ask themselves, 'Have I done anything to increase our share of the Internet browser market?' That's the business we're in; driving up our share is incredibly, incredibly important to us."
When it suits, of course, Microsoft likes to look like it's playing nice. Hence a recent announcing that users of Firefox -- the biggest threat to Microsoft's browser share since, well, a decade ago -- are now going to be fully allowed into the Windows Media world.
"Have you been itching to enjoy your media content on Firefox?" product manager Nick White cheerfully posted. "The Windows Media Player team put a lot of work into evolving media playback on Windows Vista through the new Media Foundation pipeline, and has also been actively monitoring feedback on WMP and playback in general. While commentary has been mainly positive for Web playback through IE, we've noticed that there's still work to be done to make Firefox users able to enjoy their media content on Windows."
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Microsoft, 5 Reasons, Firefox