RealNetworks will release open-source software later this year that will let Linux PCs play Windows Media files.
The media delivery software company and Novell made the announcement at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo here. Novell said it will include the tool in its Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 in the fourth quarter.
Currently, Linux users can play Windows Media Video (WMV) and Windows Media Audio (WMA) content if they install closed-source modules, said Jeff Duchmann, general manager of client and digital rights management technologies at RealNetworks. That will change as the result of a licensing deal RealNetworks has signed with Microsoft and its settlement of an antitrust suit against the software giant. It will release open-source code to play the files as part of the Helix Community project it launched to bring RealNetworks technology to Linux.