Jobs to Glaser: Go pound sand

“RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser just proved how very bright folks sometimes wind up making the dumbest decisions. In a private e-mail sent last week to Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs, Glaser proposed a tactical alliance between the two companies in the digital music business against Microsoft. And oh, by the way, he added, RealNetworks sees “very interesting opportunities” that may compel it to switch support to Microsoft’s Windows Media audio-video format, if Apple refuses to play ball,” Charles Cooper writes for CNET. “The translation? Glaser to Jobs: Do a deal or else.”

“After Jobs and his entourage had a good chuckle and a restful weekend, they promptly leaked the contents of the proposal to The New York Times,” Cooper writes. “The translation? Jobs to Glaser: Buzz off.”

Cooper writes, “Apple couldn’t care less about a promise from RealNetworks to rejigger its RealPlayer jukebox so as to support the iPod. RealNetworks attributes its declining share of the media-streaming business to illegal competition from Microsoft. The courts will decide that one. I long ago deleted RealPlayer from my desktop, because I found it to be an annoying, inferior product. Lots of other people apparently feel the same way.”

“Glaser also trusted Jobs to remain discreet about the offer. What was he thinking? Putting a revolver on the table while you offer terms may work in Tony Soprano’s world–but not in Silicon Valley. In Jobs, Glaser faces an executive with an ego even bigger than his own… Worse, Glaser’s gun had no bullets,” Cooper writes. “Glaser, a former Microsoft executive, should have known better. Apparently, you can take the boy out of Microsoft, but you can’t take Microsoft out of the boy.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Wonderful article. Highly recommended. For those wondering, the origin of the expression “go pound sand” is from a longer expression, not to know (have enough sense to) pound sand down a rathole. Filling rat holes with sand is menial work, and telling someone to pound sand down a hole is like telling them to go fly a kite. The expression dates to at least 1912 and is common in the midwestern United States.


  1. “Apparently, you can take the boy out of Microsoft, but you can’t take Microsoft out of the boy.”

    This was a great line! I’m confused, is this the same CNET I’ve come to hate? Did they get a new editor or something?

  2. Who uses Real anyways? Like the author of the article, most people uninstall Real products because they are inferior. Also, most websites have quit streaming audio and video through the real player. It seems to me that this is just an attempt from real to get a quick-fix to their problems, as opposed to actually working those problems out themselves.

  3. I hate the real player too, but some of the internet radio I like to listen to requires it. Is there an alternative so that I can delete this annoying POS?

  4. Glaser is a moron, he should have been begging Steve on his knees to liscence him fairplay and let him rebrand an iPod. The tough-guy junk didnt even get him in the door for a talk. And if he thinks Billy-boy will care about him, he has another think coming. Oh Bill will welcome him as another WMA drone. I think expanding AAC-Fairplay to other services is a good idea, but to idiots like glaser, probably not

  5. It’s amazing how many Mac fans jumped on the bandwagon in believing this was a good deal for Apple. Why help a dying format gasping for air (Rhapsody). At this juncture, Apple doesn’t need to help the competition. At some point in the future when the iPod no longer rules – and that will indeed happen, then Apple can look at “opening up” the player to other formats. As has been widely reported, WMA can easily be ported to the iPod with a simple software upgrade. Also, iTMS is not there to lose money or even break even. Don’t believe it. You don’t invest $$$ into a money-losing proposition. Yes, it has helped sell iPods but again, that is not going to happen forever. Glaser has always seemed to me to be somewhat naive and even childish in his behavior.

  6. I currently own a Dell (gasp… working on getting a PowerBook – I just have to pay off Dell and their evil interns) and all I have to do to get and iPod and iTunes to recognize other audio formats is to right click on a song file and select Open With iTunes. As for internet radio, (and don’t hate me for saying this) try MSN radio. Its free, and has a wide range of music genres.

  7. I have to say i’m disappointed Jobs didn’t atleast meet with him. Sure Glasers been running his mouth lately, but I do use Real Player quite a bit for streaming tv/video clips. Unfortunately almost all the sites that offer such things either do it only via Real or have a choice between Real and M$. I’d much rather have Real stick around than be forced to use even worse M$ products on my Mac.

  8. Not working with Rio or Real was a smart decision by Apple.

    First of all iTMS makes little profit, but it sells iPods.

    People like iPods, they consider using Macs because they are now exposed to Apple by visiting the web site because of iTunes/iTMS support or information for their iPods.

    The HP deal brings that attention to Apple by placing iTunes on millions of PC’s.

    The deals with Rio or Real do just the opposite, they give access to the iPod and by them promoting either their format or WMA, force Apple to become just another PC company.

    Real and Rio don’t have the hardware selling bargaining chip that Apple requires.

    Even if Rio and Real sold “Fairplay” it still distracts from the main Apple goal, to sell Mac computers.

    At less than 2% of the worldwide market, we really can’t afford to diversify at this time.

    Real and Rio know this, this whole Glaser email leak “game” has been a play to bring sympathy and put a dent into Apple by making them appear arrogant and turn people off to Apple.

    Glaser is just a drama king.

    Hey Glaser! Checkmate!

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