so can the mp4 and mpg containers since they're open standards
Which also tend to require installation of certain codecs and/or players. That's something quite a few people don't really know how to do. It's likely that if they have any player installed apart from the default WMP, it's quicktime.
i detest having to install proprietary apple bull****
I dislike it too (wtf is up with their lack of support for 64bit OS?), but I tend to use MPC or VLC for just about everything I need anyway, including movs.
the idea that .mov is somehow more widely supported that TRUE standard containers is simply silly.
Far from silly. We've had loads of trouble at work when we've sent out preview animations to clients who in turn have reported being unable to play the video. Hell, one even couldn't get an mpeg1 to play. Sorenson3 or h264 encoded mov files, despite their faults, really have proven to be formats with an acceptable compromise of quality and playability on average person's computer.