Last week, news broke of security woes in the Windows version of QuickTime that Apple had no intention of patching. Apple has now confirmed that it has ceased developing QuickTime for Windows and will not offer security patches for the issues. The impact on PC users will depend on which software packages you use, but one major vendor, Adobe, has noted that there are certain file formats it can’t support yet without relying on Apple’s QuickTime.
The Adobe Creative Cloud team describes the situation as follows:
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, ProRes, AVCI and Cineform). Native export support is also possible for DV and Cineform in .mov wrappers.
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.
Other commonly used QuickTime formats which would be affected by the uninstallation of QuickTime include Animation (import and export), DNxHD/HR (export) as would workflows where growing QuickTime files are being used (although we strongly advise using MXF for this wherever possible).
Products like iTunes, which once relied on QuickTime, no longer require the Apple software and it can be uninstalled from your PC if iTunes is the only software you use it with.
Apple has formally ceased all development of QuickTime 7 for Windows, The Wall Street Journal reports. But the Cupertino company still hasn’t taken any actions that would inform users that QuickTime has been deprecated. As of this writing, QuickTime 7 Pro is still available for purchase, the free version is still available for download, and the Apple Software Updater still wants to install QT 7.7.9 on my system.
The fact that QuickTime 7.7.9 still bills itself as “improves security and is recommended for all QuickTime 7 users on Windows” is part of the problem here.
When we first covered this topic, many of you noted that you still depended on QuickTime software for integration into various software suites, and Adobe’s own messaging confirms that it can be difficult to remove QT support from all products, even if you want to. Nonetheless, Apple needs to make some effort to inform its users that QT is no longer supported and that they should shift to other products. They could start by no longer offering it as an unsolicited download and by updating their own landing page to reflect the fact that the software is no longer in development.
Note that all of this only applies to QuickTime 7 on Windows. Mac users and QuickTime X are not affected.