Warning...this is harsh, candid feedback...

I would love to see a version of WMP that is more than minor patches with a major new version and marketing campaign slapped on it.  I haven't seen an innovative version of WMP since I found the open-source Media Player 6.4...yikes!  When Apple can drop an application onto the PC and create an overnight standard...you know something is wrong in the world of multimedia in Windows...

I would be overjoyed to see Microsoft providing a comprehensive codec collection in a non-critical section of windowsupdate (as well as pre-installed with the latest commercial release of WMP).  You won't be undercutting your WMA technologies by making the entire codec process more seamless...this will also work towards the "we give users choice" schpiel that is common amongst the upper-execs in Redmond.  Don't just talk the talk, folks... Wink
This is only one, low-hanging fruit example of how to improve the WMP/WMA technologies.  There are countless ways to evolve.

Microsoft is losing the multimedia battle on the PC.
Real resources need to be focused onto the WMP/WMA platforms for a while...make WMP 10 something really special and people will have no reason to go to the fruity forest for their audio/video players... Wink