“Tech’s big guns are wading into the online music business – and now the big question is whether Microsoft will squash its rivals like a bug, as it has so many others. Industry watchers say this time Bill Gates has his hands full. Microsoft, Amazon.com and Yahoo! are three of the players, along with AOL Time Warner and Viacom’s MTV, according to a story in The Los Angeles Times,” reports Laren Barack for the New York Post.
Barack writes, “While Gates considers a digital music launch, his company will now likely have to face off with the almighty music industry, which he needs to win over if he’s going to succeed. ‘The labels hold the keys to the kingdom,’ said Phil Leigh, an analyst with Raymond James. ‘The reluctance they have to enter the Windows arena is because they are concerned with privacy.'”
“As of yet, no music sites have the freedom the labels have granted to Apple’s iTunes store for Apple-computer customers. But those who own Macs can share the music with two other computers, move songs to a portable device and burn the singles as many times as they want,” Barack reports.
[MacDailyNews note: music purchased from the iTunes Music Store can be shared among a total of three Macs. It would have been clearer if written this way – a quick reading gives the impression that sharing is limited to two Macs total. Updated 10:18am EDT as per feedback from “aFactChecker” below.]
Barack continues, “However, industry insiders and analysts wonder if Apple’s iTunes will give PC users the same freedoms. Apple is developoing [sic] a PC/Windows Media version of iTunes, which the company plans to have ready by the end of the month.”
[MacDailyNews note: Apple is developing a PC version of iTunes based on QuickTime and AAC, not “Windows Media.” Whether it’ll be ready at the end of the month is anybody’s guess, but we’ve heard “by the end of the year” consistently from Apple sources. This is the first we’ve heard “by end of the month” from any source.]
Barack writes, “Still, Microsoft has the brand recognition among PC users – or 97 percent of all computer users.”
[MacDailyNews note: 3% is the last quarter’s market share, not a measure of the installed base. Apple has about 10% of all computer users, as reported correctly by Forbes.com here on June 2, 2003.]
Full NY Post article here.