26 February 2010

Windows Media Player 12 and the red N on your desktop

If you have a red N next to Windows 7 Professional then you have the version without Windows Media Player. I can't imagine that you actually bought it. It's probably a version that you got on the back of an employer's licence, like me. It's the version without Windows Media Player. Apparently some EU ruling forced Microsoft to offer two versions of Windows - one with WMP and one without. They both are otherwise exactly the same and cost the same. So you'll deduce that Windows Media Player is 'free' and yes, if you do have that red N, then you can download the Windows Media Feature Pack from Microsoft.

As usual, though, finding it ain't that simple! I actually only discovered that I didn't have WMP when I wondered what the red N was as googled it! The link to the free WMP download wasn't obvious on any of the Microsoft links but, thanks to CNET, all was revealed.

Here's the link.

Essential tip to enable Aero in Windows 7/Vista

If you reinstall Windows 7 or Vista, or buy a brand new PC, you may find that the Aero interface is not enabled by default, even if you have the correct graphics driver installed. If this is the case, then you need to run the System Rating tool, which Windows uses to check that your PC can actually support Aero. This tip will also help if you have just installed a new graphics card too. To do so, follow these steps:
Right-click on Computer and choose Properties.
Click the link System rating is not available.
Click Rate this computer. The rating process can take some time, but when it is complete, Aero should be enabled.

Information from the excellent Windows Advisor