I think it's time that people put away their tin foil hats. As much as you might like to believe conspiracy theories, there is no evidence to support your claim that "Microsoft is much more interested in promoting its own streaming format."
If you can give me an example of why you believe that WMP is an "absolutely buggy piece of software", I'd be happy to look into it.
And, for the record, I have the same problem with all the players I've tried to listen to LiveATC.net feeds with. They all intermittently disconnect, leading one to believe that it is server/network problems, as opposed to client problems. This is merely anecdotal evidence, but that seems to be good enough for some people.