Windows Media Player

Applies To: Windows Server 2003 with SP1

What does Windows Media Player do?

Windows Media Player is an application that provides media content, plays media files, and helps organize your stored media files.

Who does this feature apply to?

All users who use Windows Media Player should be aware of the changes incorporated in Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1.

What new functionality is added to this feature in Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1?

Windows Media Player 10

Detailed description

Windows Media Player 10 is installed with most versions of Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (it is not included with the Itanium-based versions). This version of Windows Media Player includes security fixes and new functionality.

During Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 installation, if you select the option to archive files, you can remove Service Pack 1 later. If you perform a new installation of Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1, the operating system is replaced, and Windows Media Player 10 cannot be removed. For more information, see the Windows Media Knowledge Center at on the Microsoft Web site at

Why is this change important? What threats does it help mitigate?

Windows Media Player 10 is the most secure version of Windows Media Player and it has been updated to work with the other security enhancements contained in Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1.


What works differently?

If you uninstall Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1, you might need to reacquire some licenses in order to play the content that you have previously licensed. This applies if you have upgraded your computer from a member of the Windows 2000 Server or Windows Server 2003 family to Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1, because Windows Media Player 10 handles digital content licenses differently than earlier versions.

How do I resolve these issues?

To ensure that your existing licensed content remains available to Windows Media Player after you remove Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1, do one of the following:

  • Before you upgrade a computer to Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1, back up the licenses for your digital media files. (You can do this through License Management in Windows Media Player.) Then, before removing the service pack, back up any additional licenses you have acquired. After you remove the service pack, restore all of the licenses.

  • After you remove Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1, you can install Windows Media Player 10 from the Microsoft Windows Media Download Center.