This really should come as no surprise to folks in our industry, as Apple's support of QuickTime on Windows has waned over many years. It's also important to understand that I.T. is going to take a global approach to the new vulnerabilities, and will likely force removal of QuickTime from all hosts they control/manage. Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to explain to them why you are an exception, and to learn more about the available options and solutions to address your environment and needs. There are options.
I will personally continue using QuickTime on my Windows systems with the understanding that it is no longer being supported...just as I still use XP and other deprecated or abandoned software daily. I use all apps attempting to leverage their strenghts and weaknesses, in my own controlled environment(s). For instance, I do not install the QT web plugin or JAVA plugin when installing QuickTime, as I don't need them and they simply create more vulnerabilities. I also throroughly investigate my media prior to opening it in any application. I.T. probably doesn't want to hear that though, so how do we explain to them our need?
Personally, I would start by explaining that QuickTime is not just a multimedia player; it is a multimedia framework. Although multimedia frameworks are designed to produce multimedia that is compatible across platforms and players, when interrogating media that was purportedly generated by a specific framework OR uses a container developed by & for a specific framework, I always start my interrogation using said framework.
I know logic doesn't always win in discussions like these though, so what do you do in the meantime? Be specific. Address each situation independently. Document each case where the global policy on QuickTime impacts your work. Prepare to come to the table with facts, not rhetoric and global panic. Learn about the options available to you for each type of situation, so that you can better articulate your needs and justification. Where possible detail any additional time required in your processing or the media's lifecycle.
Start at the beginning. Are your lab systems "online"? Who's network are they on? Do you have lab systems that are "offline" (please say yes)? Can you leverage QuickTime on your "offline" systems, which are probably on an isolated network anyway? So on, and so forth.
"What about playback Larry, should we standardize on VLC or another player for MOV files?". VLC, GOM, Mplayer, SMplayer and many others are great resources to keep in the toolbox, but no single player is going to be the solution for proper, accurate, and controlled playback of all types of multimedia. If that's what you're looking for, you really don't understand how multimedia works, but maybe more importantly you're painting yourself into a corner when it comes to validation. You can't use one tool to validate itself. You can't even use several tools that leverage the same libraries, filters, etc... Just sayin'.
MP4 was based on the MOV file format, as was 3GP/3G2. When developing your workflows, keep that in mind. Re-wrapping the streams into a MP4 file, when done correctly, is more often than not going to be the best solution. Unfortunately, I can't teach you all of the things that need to be taken into consideration when considering that process during this blog post (or even several!).
Demonstratives & Distributables
Controlling how our multimedia is presented and displayed is nothing new to folks like us, so chances are you already have several solutions for this. Again, it's a case-by-case assessment and determination, depending on the questions being asked, the source media, how it's going to be displayed, and other variables. I've personally been using Acrobat Pro for most of my demonstratives for many years, to include video. There are also solutions to create self-executing players (don't require installation or attempt to make changes to your Windows registry), which provide you with multiple options for controlling playback, etc..such as Make Instant Player, Audio/Video to EXE, and more.
Don't panic my friends. Do what you do; address each case individually, and be meticulous. As always, if I can be of any assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out. All the best. - LC