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Music stops for Mac Windows Media Player

Microsoft halts development of its Windows Media Player for the Mac and says it has no plans to provide future updates.

Microsoft has officially halted development of its Windows Media Player for the Mac and plans no future Apple Computer versions of its music-playing software.

"We have no plans to provide future updates or product support for Windows Media Player for Mac," Adam Anderson, Microsoft public relations manager, said in an interview Thursday.

The company will continue to offer the current version for download. It also has announced a deal to offer for free the Flip4Mac plug-in from Telestream that will allow Mac OS X users to play Windows Media video and audio directly from Apple's QuickTime Player software.

Microsoft has not released a significant update to Windows Media Player for Mac in some time. The current Mac OS X version, Windows Media Player 9, was released in November 2003. Microsoft also offers an even older Mac OS 9 version.

Anderson said the decision to halt work on Windows Media Player for the Mac was a matter of prioritizing for Microsoft's Windows Media unit.

"It's basically a business decision for Microsoft," Anderson said. "Like any other company, we have business priorities. Our focus really is in delivering the best experience to Windows customers."

The move comes just as Microsoft announced a pact with Apple that guarantees that the software maker will of Office for Mac for the next five years.

Despite the recent pact, Microsoft has scaled back the number of Mac products it offers over the past several years. The company has halted work on its Internet Explorer for Mac Web browser and also shelved an MSN for Mac Internet service.

Microsoft has said it will come out with new versions of Office and MSN Messenger. The company has not announced definitive plans for its other main Mac product, Virtual PC.

Word that Microsoft would stop development of its Windows Media Player for the Mac was earlier reported by BetaNews.