Netflix Takes One Step Sideways

Preface: I love Netflix – their shipping is fast, their selection is great, and their recommendation system (especially since I’ve rated over 1100 movies) is excellent and marvelously prescient. Last year, they decided to become even more awesome by introducing online viewing for subscribers to their existing DVD service. Members could, in addition to their regular DVDs, view as many hours of streaming video as they paid in dollars every month. This means that I could watch about 15 hours of video every month based on my plan. Netflix topped itself, though, by announcing recently an end to that cap of online video watching time – a move seen to preempt the expected announcement by Apple to start providing digital movie rentals. Pretty nice, huh?

Preface over.

You see, it’s not actually nice. Because I don’t have a computer at work or home that can play this online Netflix video. Their current system requirements indicate that I need Windows XP or Vista to use the online viewing service. At work? Stuck on some vintage Windows 2000. At home? I chose an Apple computer that has OS X, so no dice for me.

So while I’m excited that Netflix is allowing for unlimited online movie watching (from the 6000+ available titles), I can’t get to pumped because it does me no good. As soon as they code a freaking Mac tool for viewing, then I’ll be jumping for joy.

3 thoughts on “Netflix Takes One Step Sideways

  1. I didn’t know the requirement was just for windows… my frustration with the online viewing is that it only works in IE (won’t work in Firefox). That being said, the quality and speed of the online viewing is really good.

  2. I noticed this about a week ago. I’m tired of companies sticking out products that only work on Microsoft products. It’s an antiquated way of doing things, and there are better alternatives, like Flash of Quicktime (the plugin version of which works on the two major consumer platforms and in most browsers).

  3. I agree Mugs. And in all seriousness, Netflix of all web apps should be very sensitive to this. I’d be willing to wager a lot that their percentage of Mac users and Firefox users FAR EXCEEDS the internet average. While I don’t like it, when 95% of users can access the functionality, it can become very expensive to tailor to that last 5%. In the case of netflix, I’m willing to believe that number is upwards of 30-50%, and that is just unacceptable.

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