Apple pulls support for QuickTime on Windows, leaves Adobe hanging

Apple has confirmed that it is no longer supporting QuickTime for Windows, following reports last week of serious security vulnerabilities threatening the software.

Security firm Trend Micro released an urgent blog post last week recommending that that Windows users of QuickTime uninstall the software as soon as possible. It claimed Apple will no longer be supporting its video player, and notified readers of two new security holes that had been identified.

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team quickly passed on the security firm's warning.

Apple has made no formal announcement about ending support for QuickTime on Windows. However, on Wednesday it updated its support page dedicated to the software with the following additional information: "QuickTime 7 for Windows is no longer supported by Apple."

QuickTime has been a fixture for Apple on Windows machines for several years. The users were prompted to install it along with the company's iTunes media software. The latter made use of QuickTime's video player functions for some of its own media, including the video content purchased from the iTunes Store.

Apple's decision to pull the plug on its support for QuickTime on Windows has also affected other software makers, and their users who rely on some of its codecs.

Adobe is one such company that relies on QuickTime, which it uses in Adobe After Effects and some of its other products.

Following the news, Adobe has distanced itself from Apple. In a statement, Adobe said: "Adobe has worked extensively on removing dependencies on QuickTime in its professional video, audio and digital imaging applications and native decoding of many .mov formats is available today (including uncompressed, DV, IMX, MPEG2, XDCAM, h264, JPEG, DNxHD, DNxHR, AVCI and Cineform). Native export support is also possible for DV and Cineform in .mov wrappers.

It added: "Unfortunately, there are some codecs which remain dependent on QuickTime being installed on Windows, most notably Apple ProRes. We know how common this format is in many worfklows, and we continue to work hard to improve this situation, but have no estimated timeframe for native decode currently.

"Adobe's desire has always been to support everything natively without the need for QuickTime. As a result of the above we intend to increase our efforts to remove these incompatibilities, and provide our customers with a complete native pipeline."

This kerfuffle over QuickTime's codecs will be sour news for Adobe, which continues to face criticisms for its Flash middleware. For the time being, Windows users who rely on some its QuickTime-dependent products may have to risk keeping it installed.

Apple noted at new versions of Windows has included support for Apple-created media formats, such as H.264 and AAC, since 2009.

For information on how to uninstall QuickTime 7 for Windows, see Apple's support page.

Image: Flickr-CC/Roger Schultz