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XP Reloaded: Microsoft Unleashes Windows Media Player 10

Today Microsoft released the final version of Windows Media Player (WMP) 10, the latest rendition of its all-in-one digital media management and jukebox application. WMP 10 builds off the success of the previous version, adding a cleaner, simpler UI; integration with several online music and video stores through what Microsoft calls the Digital Media Mall; and support for a new generation of subscription-based services and devices.

"We've upgraded our digital media capabilities pretty dramatically with our new Windows Media Player 10 release," Dave Fester, general manager of Windows Digital Media Division, said at a reviewers workshop in August. "We want to upgrade the existing Windows XP installed base and give them new media experiences."

WMP 10 integrates with online music and video services from CinemaNow, Musicmatch, MusicNow, Napster, Wal-Mart Music Downloads, and MSN Music, providing users with a central location to discover, download, and subscribe to digital media content. The player is also compatible with more than 70 portable devices, although, notably, not Apple Computer's ubiquitous iPod. In tandem with the release of WMP 10, Microsoft partner Creative has also shipped the first Portable Media Center (PMC), a portable device that lets users enjoy digital photos, music, video, and recorded TV shows on the go.

The final version of WMP is now available for download from the Microsoft Web site. For my exhaustive review of this product, please visit the SuperSite for Windows.

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