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Netflix Allows Mac Users to "Watch Instantly"

Mike Musgrove

Whenever I write about Netflix -- and especially if I'm writing about the online movie rental company's "watch instantly" feature -- it seems I get a lot of e-mail from Mac fans who are annoyed with the company.

Here's their complaint: While Windows users have been able to watch about 12,000 titles in the Netflix library online, the software hasn't been available for Mac users. Well, that status has apparently just changed. The company announced today that it's now going to be possible for owners of Mac computers to watch that library of Netflix movies. Alas, the feature is only available for owners of the relatively new Macs that run using Intel chips.

(I say "alas" at least partly because I have a four-year-old Mac laptop that still won't be able to stream movies from Netflix.)

A Netflix "system requirements" page about the feature hasn't been updated yet with the news, looks like.

Some Netflix-subscribing Xbox owners are looking forward to an upcoming software update, for the system, scheduled for later this year. Within a month or two, owners of the game device should be also able to use that "watch instantly" feature.

By Mike Musgrove  |  October 27, 2008; 12:57 PM ET  | Category:  Mike Musgrove
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I'm happy for Mac users, but when is NetFlix going to allow FireFox users to "Watch Instantly" without having to use addons such as IETab? Hummm?

Posted by: JonathanMeckler | October 28, 2008 9:10 AM

And what about Linux? I would love to watch using my MythTV home theater PC running Ubuntu...

Posted by: Larsthethird | October 28, 2008 9:40 AM

Guys, you gotta read the actual release. It's not that Netflix is giving Mac users access, it's that they are switching the way the app is designed to use Microsoft Silverlight instead of their current player setup. This is why it will now work in Mac. The reason it won't work in PPC Macs is because only Silverlight 1.0 is support on that platform, not 2.0.

It will now work in Firefox too, once the switchover happens, because Silverlight works in FF. So to answer the Jonathan, at the same, that's when.

It also works in Safari.

For Linux, there is a project called Moonlight, which will be bringing Silverlight support to Linux, but the timeframe is uncertain as I understand.

Posted by: CharlesLD | October 28, 2008 12:32 PM


Your forgot to mention that this feature for the Macs won't be available for a month or two.

Posted by: sschaffell | October 29, 2008 12:38 PM

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