While most people thought this to be a good move from Canonical to help spread Linux, open-source zealots found it not-done.
Mark Shuttleworth (ubuntu’s founder and philanthropist) responded on the lists.ubuntu.com.
There is (again) absolutely no truth to the rumour that Canonical has
done a deal with Microsoft for access to codecs – either in return for
money, or for some other quid-pro-quo. – Mark Shuttleworth
He went on to say that they might work together with MS under transparent and reasonable conditions if the necessity arises.
I personally find it a good thing that newcomers to Ubuntu (linux) have codecs preinstalled by the OEM on their netbook.
That saves them the trouble of having to install it afterwards, because let’s face it, most of us do install them.