Sony ClipBrowser is free and cross platform.
VLC can also play the files and it's also free and cross platform.
Editing does require an NLE that supports the EX codec whether MP4, MXF, MOV variant.
ClipBrowser can do a downconvert to DV AVI but it seems to lose the source time code though making match back to the EX source files a bit of a challenge. ClipBrowser can even export to WMV but it'll have the MainConcept watermark unless he buys the export codec from them. He could then edit in Windows Movie Maker but obviously none of this will be EX source quality.
[Brian Barkley]"Premiere Pro is bundled with CS4, which is expensive. "
I guess all things are relative. It was only a few years ago were edit rooms where six or even seven figure affairs. Premiere Pro CS4 is $725 at Amazon. Sony Vegas Pro is about $600. Both will handle EX on a good home computer.