Microsoft is nearing a settlement of RealNetworks’ long-running antitrust lawsuit with a deal valued at $750 million (E624 million), according to reports. Under terms of the settlement, which could still fall through, Microsoft would offer a combination of cash and promotions for RealNetworks’ music and game services through Microsoft’s online services and software, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. In addition, the newspaper said, the two companies would collaborate on technology initiatives in the future. Update: It’s official.
Microsoft, RealNetworks Near Settlement?
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2005-10-11 6:16 pmrcsteiner
Some adobe products like Photoshop have a lead which I think will be hard for even Microsoft to break, while even things like PDF are fairly well established.
Then again, FrameMaker was a well-established documentation tool in some of the places I worked and the PC Software support folks replaced it with Word in a number of areas (against heated protests from the ranks in at least one case), so maybe image processing could suffer the same fate (with standardization trumping functionality).
You’ve got to understand that neither Linux nor OS X have WIndows Media DRM. Real now has access to those technologies. Real customer care has told me that they’re working on bringing more of the Premium services to RealPlayer for Mac, like CD ripping/burning and possibly Music Store aswell as Rhapsody Mac. I believe them. Linux may one day get the Real RealPlayer, not a little simple box of the 7/G2 days. I’d bet Rhapsody is Linux’s first DRM music service.
2005-10-11 7:31 pmraver31
I’d bet that Rhapsody is not Linux’s first DRM service.
See, the thing is, USERS do not want DRM. It is only providers who want this.
2005-10-11 8:15 pmn4cer
Linux and MacOS could have WM/DRM if they wanted it without depending on Real. They can license it directly from MS just as Real and other ISV/IHVs have.
2005-10-11 9:17 pmAnonymous
Apple is a company that could (in theory) licence WM/DRM. Linux is a movement, no company. Who is there to licene the DRM? A company (eg. Real, Redhat, IBM, Novel) could, but I’d bet everything I own that the licence would not allow an open-source player. So you would end up with a (most likely commercial, to cover the costs of licencing at least) Linux player that supports WM/DRM. Only slightly better than the current situation.
And besides, even Mirosoft’s own “Windows Media Player for Mac” does not support WM/DRM, so I doubt that it’s easy (or possible under the licencing terms) to port to another system.
“the two companies would collaborate on technology initiatives in the future.”
Like dismantling RealPlayer and HelixPlayer for Linux?
Never forget what happens when the bea$t involves itself with companies, just look to the past, regarding Linux one example is Corel’s Linux which, once the bea$t got involved with stocks of said company, was quickly pushed out of Corel’s development and eventually slurped up by another company and morphed into XandrOS.
The bea$t is smart, people underestimate its power, but what we see is the wolves making nice with all the hens so they can further consolidate power and go after Linux as much as possible without other companies getting in the way. Real has provided useful to Linux with its RealPlayer, giving Linux users the legal means to play the MP3 format.
Now we will see if the RealPlayer and/or Helix Player Linux versions suddenly stop being released. Just you watch, the bea$t is very smart and knows how to play the field.
Why there is to be a future for RealNetwork? I hate them. They suck donkey balls …
Real is the only digital media company that has the power or the drive to put WIndows Media DRM on Linux. Microsoft, well, Windows Media Player 9 Mac was rediculous. If Microsoft even bothers to get 10 to the Mac, they should actually make it work, just like it’s Windows counterpart, otherwise they’d be wasting time and money. I do believe there will be a Rhapsody Mac and RealPlayer Plus for Mac. Real should make RealPlayer, just about the same, all across the board. Whether it be Windows, Linux or OS X. Maybe different format support here and there, but over all the interfaces and features should be the exact same. Rhapsody 3.0 via the subscription uses Windows Media DRM/Audio. Rhapsody 3.0 via the al-la-carte purchase, uses RealAudio 10 AAC with Helix DRM wrapped within the headers and footers. I doubt this would change for other platforms.
No doubt Microsoft will get more for its $460m than a few less antitrust lawsuits. If this means the demise of RealNetworks as some are predicting, then so be it. The sooner Real is swept under the carpet, the better.
This is what happens when you sleep with the enemy.
Microsoft is the enemy.
In case you don’t believe me, just check your wallet next time you buy a Dell, Sony or HP.
Bill G has you by the crab apples and Linux is his worst fear.
Isn’t it great!
I’m gonna download the latest slack right now.
The owners of the RealNetworks take the money and jump of competition with other words. Who will be next? Adobe maybe?