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Microsoft fears iPod dominance

Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 15 Jan 2004 8:24 User comments (18)

Microsoft fears iPod dominance Microsoft's David Fester has given interesting comments about the recent Hewlett-Packard announcement that they will start selling a re-branded iPod. Microsoft thinks this might lead into the market dominance of iPod (which doesn’t support Windows Media Audio) and hurt the consumer market.
General manager of Microsoft's Windows digital media division David Fester has suggested that iTunes' emerging dominance would be bad for consumers, because it would limit them to the iPod.
He told journalists at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas: "Windows is about choice - you can mix and match software and music player stuff. We believe you should have the same choice when it comes to music services."Try re-reading Mr. Fester's first sentence and replace the word 'iTunes' with the word 'Microsoft' and the 'iPod' with 'Windows'. You can spice it up even more by substituting David Fester with Linus Torvalds :-)

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18 user comments

115.1.2004 8:49

Waaaaahhh for Microsoft. Instead of following a successful model like iPod and iTunes MS is trying to convince "sheeple" that WMA and DRM is better. The idiots are reaping what they've sown. They've developed WMA with the entertainment industry in mind and not the end user. The industry isn't the one buying and using the players.

215.1.2004 11:17

Nephilim, I agree with your post, but keep in mind iTunes uses DRM too. It's not as restricted as the the average WMx DRM infected file, but that could change. Apple is smart so they probably will not do things to piss off their customers on their own, but I could see them being pressured into it by... guess who. I love this quote, "Windows is about choice - you can mix and match software and music player stuff...". I guess if you avoid WMx format *files* it's true for the most part. If he's actually talking about content it becomes hilarious in a scary sort of way. Ya think they really believe their own hype? The choice I see them offering is, "Either we extort obscene amounts of money from you or you don't get to play, period". Some choice...

315.1.2004 11:23

I have a question. Can other companys build players that play back iTunes format files without paying some kind of licensing to Apple?

415.1.2004 11:34

How about giving consumers a choice on operating systems. But you can't do that, since about 90% of the software is only compatible with windows. They like it when they have control of most of the market, even though they want the whole thing. When someone else digs into their pool, they get p!ssed about it. I hope they lose billions over this, even though it won't be that high. Hey, I can dream can't I?

515.1.2004 11:53

GrayArea: In theory, all AAC players are capable of playing iTunes tracks, but the DRM part of it makes it proprietary to Apple's own solutions. From what I've understood, Apple is not licensing the technology to other vendors purely because they a) don't really make money from iTunes, but make it from iPod sales b) look at point A again and re-read it :-)

615.1.2004 12:22

I'm aware of the DRM in iTunes and forgot to mention it. I was trying to point out that WMA is more restrictive and has the potential to be even more so once Longhorn comes out along with Phoenix's proposed BIOS that will make things even worse. If Apple has any sense they won't pursue any more restrictions. Why change a good thing for themselves? It's hilarious that all of the sudden MS is worried about our options and freedom when they don't have control over something.

715.1.2004 22:38

I agree its quite funny to see microsoft on the backfoot. Having considered buying an ipod recently I've been put off by the recent revelations concering replacing the battery (what a joke). Going to go for Creative Labs Nomad better value for my £'s. It might by slightly bigger than the ipod but you can pick up the 60gig model for the price of a 20ggig ipod:-)

815.1.2004 22:41

4got to put in this link The Nomab battery is replacable as to is the hardrive

916.1.2004 2:10

It was Apple's refusal to license their Mac technology back in the 70s and 80s that lead to the rise of Microsoft and IBM clones. They wanted it all for themselves, and in the end Mircrosoft ripped them off and IBM clones reigned and we got stuck with Bill. Microsoft will never be content unitl they have it all and despite the damage they caused Apple they are now prepared to begrudge them this moment of success. Maybe Apple has learned from their past mistakes and are now prepared to license their Ipod Technology and reap some of the benefits that Microsoft has long enjoyed.

1016.1.2004 5:15

I am not always happy with the things Microsoft does, but in reality, all big business use the same greedy tactics. For some it works, for others it doesn't. Lets not forget while we are bashing Microsoft, that they were instrumental in our having anything called a computer today. Bill Gates is the major reason we can communicate this way today. Best to all! Rodgers

1116.1.2004 7:09

Great perspective Rogers. There really is an extraordinary amount of factors that lead to our present situation. It's impossible to lay blame on one single factor. I will say that MS tends to take "competition" to a whole new level. The point of a business is to make money but MS has forsaken the spirit of competion for a "scorched earth" policy when it comes to ayone who comes up with a better idea. Instead of saying to themselves "Wow, what a great idea. What can we do to makes our product as good?" they say something like "Wow, what can we do to kill this idea and bastardize it for our purposes?" MS prefers to steal an idea then run the people who thought of it out of business. Sure it's dog eat dog in business but MS should try some ethics on for size. They're too proud of themselves to admit anyone else has come up with a great idea.

1216.1.2004 8:06

Quote> "It was Apple's refusal to license their Mac technology back in the 70s and 80s that lead to the rise of Microsoft and IBM clones." Bingo!

1316.1.2004 8:33

dRD, What I would like to know is, how is it that Apple (and all the other companys scrambling to get in the biz) is not making any money at 30 to 35% gross margins selling music? Initial investment would cost something but after that selling music on line would appear to be a fairly low overhead buisness. I feel like the "razor thin margin" line we've been getting fed is mostly industry spin to justify the bloated price point. No claiming this is fact, just my filtered little view.

1416.1.2004 12:11

GrayArea: RIAA & co get decent slice of action and then you get the hardware, advertising, salary and bandwidth requirements and you sorta need to sell quite a decent amount of $0.99 tracks to make any money. Note that we're talking about a company who has billions of dollars in terms of revenue from hardware sales, etc and if they sell 100M $0.99 tracks a year that only makes $99M of revenue, out of which 60-70% goes straight to music biz. Whereas, if they sell 10M iPods and make $100 profit for each, you can do the math..

1516.1.2004 15:18

I feel microsoft has had to much of the market for to long.Although there packages are normally good they charge you what they want because as pc users feel we have to use them to operate our systems.Let's get some real competition on board and watch the prices drop.Bill would have kittens but how much money can you really spend Greedy b_s_r_ freedom of choice is what you don't have when it come's to pc's.Imagine if you went to buy a top in a shop and they told you its red and you must have it because we tell you what to wear FreedomFreedomFreedom Give it me

1617.1.2004 19:40

microsoft sucks

1718.1.2004 9:23

And what, you problibly typed that up on a Windows machine using Internet Explorer. Microsoft itself does not suck, but what they are doing, complaining about fear of iPod dominance sucks. What they should be doing is countering with a better alternative to the iPod.

1819.1.2004 10:51

dRD, IMHO when sales really start to go I think the on-line music biz will look more like the audio CD, video game, and DVD business models where software sales are the big money and hardware is sold as cheaply as possible to drive more software sales... I don't think you are wrong at this moment, but I see it changing in the not too distant future. How much gets spent on DVD players vs. DVDs (don't forget the rentals)?

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