Friday, September 28, 2007

Amazon's Windows only Video Service

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I was recently browsing the web and saw that Amazon now offers a video download service. A lot of first episodes of TV shows were being offered for free. I thought that would be a great way to see them. After trying to download the video with no success, I looked around for the system requirements. And, here they are.......

Minimum System Requirements

OPERATING SYSTEM: The Amazon Unbox video player application is only compatible with 32-Bit version of Windows including Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2 (SP2), Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Update Rollup 2, or Windows Vista (Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, or Ultimate). The Amazon Unbox video player is not compatible with Apple/Macintosh operating systems.

So, Windows users can get free TV episodes, but Linux and Mac users are completely screwed. Even though I would probably never buy the paid for episodes, I was enraged that I was being discriminated against only because I'm using a superior operating system.

I immediately fired off an email to Amazon telling them I was boycotting their site until they started supporting Linux users. Here is the email.

Your new TV download service requires a windows operating
system. I use Linux exclusively, and for that reason I refuse to buy
anything from your website until you start offering the video download
feature for Linux and Mac. Microsoft's operating system isn't the
only one, and it's by far the most virus and spyware infected OS
around. It's not fair to exclude other operating systems just because
that's what the majority of mindless people use. Please offer this
service to everyone and make everybody happy.
and Amazon's response.........
Greetings from the Amazon Unbox team.

I realize that you are frustrated by the fact that currently the
Windows based XP or Vista operating systems are required to run the
Amazon Unbox service on your computer, and that because of this Amazon
Unbox is not supported on the Mac OS or Linux.

I will forward your comments and feedback to the appropriate
department for future consideration. While I am not aware of any
specific development plans, I can certainly pass your feedback to the
appropriate team.

Although it may not be entirely positive, we do appreciate the
feedback we receive about our service or offerings. Comments like
yours are taken into consideration and go toward helping Amazon Unbox
provide a more satisfying experience for all our customers. We
appreciate that you took the time to write to us.

We value our customers who experience our site and services through
the Macintosh platform as well as Linux. We hope to be able to better
serve you in the future.

Thank you for contacting Amazon Unbox with your concerns.

So, if you as a Linux user feel that Amazon should support Linux and Mac, join me in my Amazon boycott by sending them an email refusing to buy from their website until they support us with their video service.


idiom said...

Will it run under wine?

Happy Linux Guy said...

I don't feel that I should have to make that compromise. Amazon needs to make it native to Linux and Mac. I just tried to install it with wine, just for the hell of it, to see if it would work. It fails, and gives me an error message saying I need XP SP2 or 2003 server.

Why should we as Linux have to go out of our way to make crappy windows software work. That's the duty of the company providing the service.

Anonymous said...

I can understand your position but your attitude to anything other than Linux is not helpful.
I want OS freedom too, and I use Linux but I can't stand it when I see extremism.
You shouldn't insult users of other operating systems for being idiots or anything else.
The simple fact is any security is only as good as its weakest link, the user.

Jeff said...

Cry a little about Windows being more popular, then cry a little about Linux not supported new technologies, then talk trash because it can't be virus-infected.
Learn to live with the differences in Windows and Linux. My question, of the porn, warez, and torrents you downloaded to infect the Linux computer, could it run any of the software?

Jack said...

It's good that you let Amazon know that they lost a customer, but I also respect Amazon investing their resources into something that is most likely to give them maximum return. That's Windows, not OSX or Gnu/Linux... for the foreseeable future.

Then again, I'm convinced that the tide is changing and Amazon will change with it.

... JJ

Ubuntu Feisty Fawn Gnu/Linux

(Come ON Gutsy Gibbon!)

Anonymous said...

Amazon is all linux internally, so I'm sure they feel or you. But I can't blame them for initially targeting the vast number windows users and worrying about the other operating systems later.

Anonymous said...

Recently, I noticed that the Ferrari automobile company is severely biased towards individuals that have lots of money. Because I don't have lots of money, and I want a Ferrari, I have chosen to boycott Ferrari!

Please, support my infallible logic and join me in this boycott!

Vincent Ferguson said...

Ubuntu is really growing and Mac well no Mac support is just lame. I run nothing but Mythbuntu/Linux at home and my coworker next to me MAC and every computer in the coffee shops here in the SF Bay area has a sea of MAC laptops. I wish someone would take the initiative and leading edge, and just do it. Don't take the easy way out/pre-packaged server application, but make your IT department actually design something that is Java based, or not platform specific. Instead of paying them to just install an MS application. 100k+ year to click next, next finish. Secure your job, develop instead of install!

Ryan said...

I'm with you 100%

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cb5705 said...

I found your page 4 1/2 years after-the-fact. I'm now able to stream Amazon instant using the Flash plugin on L-Ubuntu. What I did is set up a used pentium4 machine, and run an inexpensive converter from DVI-I to HDMI on the plasma TV. The picture quality is good enough. No you can't store your films locally, but at least we're getting something -- Netflix has finally stated they don't intend to support Linux, BSD etc.

What "windows" has and we may never have is DRM (Digital wRongs Management). microsoft has the funds to lobby and bribe the film industry -- this is yet another way microsoft locks the public in to using "windows." I have tried the preview of "windows 8." Even with a Core 2 and 3Gb of memory, just getting to the startup screen is a strain. That's just wrong.

Anonymous said...

Linux version please..... ( Ubuntu )