RealNetworks Talking to PC Manufacturers

RealNetworks are in talks with PC manufacturers regarding shipping their player software with new PCs. Since the EU ruling on Microsoft’s Windows Media Player, it looks like other software houses finally have a chance of getting their own players shipped with PCs – as was the EU Commissions intention.

“In a few very preliminary talks with computer makers we’ve discussed options, Europe is the first jurisdiction to rule on this,” said RealNetworks’ chief executive Rob Glaser. He believes that PC manufacturers are about to embark on a new course. Glaser is very proud of the capabilities of the latest Real Player, version 10, as it will play a wide variety of files and incorporates sophisticated DRM via RealNetworks Helix technology. RealPlayer 10 is capable, the company claim, of playing any file format on any device. It certainly is the only player at the moment that can play all major formats.

Additionally, RealNetworks are getting more heavily involved in mobile phone-based media, where there is much less standards fragmentation than with PCs. “The bulk of our business is still in the PC segment, but we’re focusing on both. We hope to see significant mobile growth”, Glaser added.


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?