In a typical inaccuracy-laden FUD-like fashion, Gizmodo ran a story on March 26th regurgitating some rumblings from Damien Bain-Thouverez, a ffdshow (Tryout fork) developer, indicating that Windows 7 may block the use of third-party codecs (those small voodoo pieces of software that let you watch your illegally downloaded Bluray rips).
Damien indicated this “blocking” behavior occurs in Windows 7 build 7057. I’ve tested and confirmed the behavior still exists, in 7068, but it’s obviously broken (or working this way for a specific, temporary reason). I’m sure when Microsoft flips the non-beta switch, they will support third-party codecs as they have since… Windows 3? (Gold star to whomever can find references to earlier use)
The thought of Microsoft moving to alienate its bajillion users by blocking the use of third-party codecs in Windows 7 Windows Media Player (and its wrapper Windows Media Center) is insanely ridiculous. While Microsoft usually remains silent on issues that arise in unofficial builds, they made an exception to my inquiry (due to the inaccuracies floating around) and had this to say:
As we move toward the release of Windows 7, we have worked to add more codecs and file types to allow for a better user experience. We also allow Microsoft experiences to use codecs and other format technologies from third-party companies, just as we always have. Third party applications can use the Microsoft codecs or their own. Microsoft does not restrict the use of third-party codecs. – Microsoft Spokesperson