In Fortune Magazine’s exclusive coverage of Apple, iTunes, iPod, and the iTunes Music Store, a few gems stand out, namely, that Apple is planning on “rolling out iTunes for Windows” and the potentially blockbuster news that a “deal with AOL [that] would land the iTunes Music Store on the desktops of AOL’s 26 million subscribers” might be in the works.
“Jobs has been very shrewd about the way he moved the iPod into the PC universe. Anyone who has tried the iPod with both systems will tell you it’s a lot more fun to use if you plug it into a Mac running Apple’s OS X than into a Dell with Windows XP. ‘The Windows iPod sucks’ is Seal’s appraisal. ‘But what they are really doing is trying to get people to wonder, ‘Hmm, should I switch over?” Jobs is betting that the iTunes Music Store, like the iPod, could be just such a Trojan horse.”
“It’s not as easy as it sounds. How many Windows iPod owners know what they’re missing by not using OS X? Do any of them really care? Perhaps that’s why Jobs is rolling out iTunes for Windows too. In fact, Warner’s Roger Ames is trying to broker a deal in which AOL would adopt iTunes as its music-manage-ment software. “Steve was resistant at first,” Ames says. “But now I understand that he’s decided to go that way.” AOL has been trying to develop its own music store to go along with its subscription service but hasn’t figured out a billing system for individual tracks as Apple has. A deal with AOL would land the iTunes Music Store on the desktops of AOL’s 26 million subscribers. That could quickly make Apple the dominant seller of digital music on the Internet. AOL would neither confirm nor deny a possible deal.”
“A big play for Windows users would be a huge shift for a man who has largely created a product–the Mac–that exists in a walled garden cut off from the much vaster PC world. Clearly, Apple will benefit enormously if it boosts its share of the computer market by even 1%–such a gain would lift its revenues by nearly a third and increase profits even more. In the meantime, if the iTunes Music Store takes off–and computer users of all stripes start buying millions of songs online each month–that will translate into tens of millions of dollars in new revenues per month for Apple.”
Full article here.