US Report: RealNetworks loses an ally

The ongoing scrap between RealNetworks and Microsoft took another strange turn today when third-party streaming media vendor Xing Technology shifted its loyalties from the RealNetworks to the Microsoft camp.

Xing posted a statement of clarification, in which Xing said that its XingMPEG Player and the Windows Media Player exhibited similar behaviors once installed. Xing also had RealNetworks remove a statement of complaint about Microsoft's streaming media products from the RealNetworks Web site.

"Xing is looking forward to working together with Microsoft to ensure that customers get the best possible user experience playing multimedia on their PCs," the new Xing clarification statement read.

Xing Technology officials declined to comment on the reason for the change in the company's position. A spokeswoman said the company would not comment on Xing's opinion of whose code--Microsoft's or RealNetworks' --breaks compatibility with other vendors' media players.

Separately, the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT), a Washington, D.C., trade association that has backed Microsoft during the ongoing DOJ antitrust investigation, issued a statement supporting Microsoft in the media player controversy.

ACT found that RealNetworks G2 breaks as a result of bugs in RealNetworks' G2 code. ACT posted a fix and called for the withdrawal of last week's testimony by RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser, in which he blamed Microsoft for intentionally breaking compatibility with RealNetworks' products.