Yesterday Microsoft released the new Windows media player 11 silently on its Internet website. You can download the (final) version of Media Player at the official Media Player homepage. This version is only usable with Windows XP and not previous versions of the operating system, so keep that in mind before you head over and start to download the program to your system. Guidelines for common actions like installing the player, codec information and playing / burning files can be found on the faq page of Media Player 11.
Please note that Microsoft might check for WGA (Windows genuine advantage) before you are able to download the file from the official website. Try this download if you want to avoid the check. I have not installed it at my home computer, there could be a second check during the installation of the tool.
If you run into troubles you can take a look at the readme for Windows Media Player 11 for XP which contains a large list of known issues. (lots of synchronizing errors, playback errors and the like). I would not rely on Media Player but suggest you take a look at incredible alternatives that are faster and better, VLC comes to my mind.
Update: Windows Media Player 11 is still available on the linked website for Windows XP users who can't use the latest version of the player as it is no longer compatible with the operating system. It needs to be noted that Windows Media Player 12 is only available for Windows 7, and that the software ships with the operating system by default. Windows 7 users therefore do not need to download the latest version of the player anymore.
What's however available for WMP 12 are skin, plug-in and visualizations that one can download from the Microsoft website for the media player. It is also interesting that the next version of Windows Media Player, the one shipping with Windows 8, won't support DVD playback anymore like version 12 does.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.