actually i like it, its the audio player i find lets me just drop folder on to and just play its contents. everything else seems to demand adding things to a library and then playing the whole library.
oh and all the wedia buttons work without the application haveing to be on top
I think the issue with WMP codecs was avoiding a lawsuit for including a full featured app for free. I can't say how it is for users of pre-built PCs, but for builders, we get drivers and apps with our hardware such that we're not stuck with what Windows "gives" us. My favorite media app was MusicMatch Jukebox 7 deluxe. I had to ditch it for iTunes, but no great loss as iTunes works pretty well too.
In comparing any consumer product, I am reminded of the definition of marketing: Creating differences in the mind of the consumer between seemingly identical products.