Microsoft responds to Real Networks charges

Microsoft Corporation reacted strongly to Real Networks' CEO Rob Glaser's comments yesterday about the Windows Media Player "breaking" his company's RealAudio products. In fact, I received a message last night from Microsoft's PR firm, Waggener Edstrom, stating that Microsoft had found the problem: A bug in Real Network's G2 software.

Let the games begin.

Needless to say, Glaser had to know he was going to start a firestorm of activity, much of which wouldn't exactly be positive. According to Microsoft, the problem demonstrated by Mr. Glaser is caused by a bug in the beta version of RealNetworks’ new G2 software and it only surfaces if the user is running Netscape Navigator. In a statement released Friday morning, Microsoft said that it would "provide information about the bug to RealNetworks, and anticipates that the company will fix it before releasing the commercial version of the RealPlayer G2. The bug does not appear in any of RealNetworks’ current products, such as RealPlayer 5, that have been commercially released." This, of course, contradicts what Glaser told the Senate committee on Thursday.

So what's the truth here? Honestly, I have no idea. For more information, you may want to check out Microsoft's whitepaper about the subject, "Technical Description of the RealPlayer G2 Bug." Microsoft has also posted a press statement about the issue

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